The Australian today has a really good story summarizing UNEP’s GEO. I’ve cut and pasted some biodiversity-focused excerpts from the story below:

  • More than 30 per cent of the world’s amphibians, 23 per cent of mammals and 12 per cent of birds are now threatened with extinction. More than 75 per cent of fish stocks are fully or overly exploited. Six in 10 of the world’s leading rivers have been either dammed or diverted. One in 10 of these rivers no longer reaches the sea for part of the year. More than two million people die prematurely every year from indoor and outdoor pollution. Less than 1 per cent of the world’s marine ecosystems are protected.
  • Failing to address persistent atmosphere, land, water and biodiversity problems, UNEP says, “may threaten humanity’s survival”. The report’s authors say there is no significant area dealt with in the report where the foreseeable trends are favourable.
  • The report elaborates on the theory that the available evidence points to a sixth “major extinction event” now under way. Unlike the previous five extinction events, which were the result of natural disasters and planetary change, the present loss of biodiversity can mostly be sheeted home to human activity.
  • “Our common future,” the report says, “depends on our actions today, not tomorrow or some time in the future.”
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