Report: Humanity imperiled by global abuse of natural resources
Human activity has driven animals and plants into decline in every region of the world, putting our own well-being at risk by over-harvesting and polluting, a comprehensive species survey warned Friday.
Fish stocks may run out by 2048 and more than half of Africa's bird and mammal species lost by 2100 unless drastic measures are taken, according to four comprehensive reports released in Medellin.
Up to 90 percent of Asia-Pacific corals will suffer "severe degradation" by 2050, while in Europe and Central Asia, almost a third of known marine fish populations, and 42 percent of land animals and plants, are in decline.
"This alarming trend endangers economies, livelihoods, food security and the quality of life of people everywhere," warned the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).
Compiled by nearly 600 scientists over three years, the reports underline that nature provides humans with food, clean water, energy, and regulates Earth's climate -- just about everything we need to survive and thrive.
"We're undermining our own future well-being," IPBES chairman Robert Watson said of the findings.
"Biodiversity continues to be lost across all of the regions of the globe. We're losing species, we're degrading ecosystems... if we continue 'business as usual', we will continue to lose biodiversity at increasing rates."
The IPBES assessment divided the world into four: the Americas, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Europe and Central Asia -- the whole planet except for the Antarctic and the open seas.
"This is what we've got to get across to policy makers: we have to look at climate change and biodiversity together," Watson said.
"Climate change affects biodiversity, changes in our natural vegetation affects climate change. And both of them, if we don't do this correctly, will undermine many of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: clean water for everyone, food security for people, energy security, human security, equity."