Species loss threatens the livelihoods of billions of people

The latest major report on biodiversity loss points out that animals and plants are key to the survival of billions of people

Humanity has already put thousands of species of animals and plants around the planet on the ropes and, by doing so, she has also put herself on the ropes. The largest report to date on the use of wild species indicates that much of the species that people use for their activities are being unsustainably exploited. In the case of hunting, for example, unsustainable practices threaten more than 1,340 species of mammals. Indiscriminate logging, for its part, puts the survival of the 12% of wild tree species of the planet. These figures, according to the experts, also remind us that if these species disappear the lives and livelihoods of billions of people are also at risk.

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These are some of the conclusions drawn by the latest great scientific report of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biological Diversity and Ecosystems (IPBES). The analysis, presented this Friday at the conference in Bonn (Germany), is the result of four years of intense academic work, led by 85 top-level experts Y more than 200 collaborators. In total, the study integrates the knowledge of more than 6,200 scientific studies on how humanity is using different species of animals and plants for its survival and on how, in turn, the indiscriminate use of these forms of life can put the planet’s biodiversity at risk and the way of life of billions of people.

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These are some of the most outstanding findings of the latest IPBES report.

50,000 essential species

Humanity uses a 50,000 species of wild animals and plants to meet your needs. More than 10,000 of these used for food purposes. The use of natural resources is also key for other activities, such as power generation or the manufacture of medicines or products. In the poorest regions of the planet, the 70% of the population it depends directly on wild species and the economic activities they generate to survive. A third of humanity, the equivalent of some 2.4 billion people, depend directly on natural resources such as firewood for cooking.


The latest global estimates suggest that 34% of wild marine fish stocks are overexploited, while the remaining 66% is fished sustainably. According to the researchers, among the species most threatened by overfishing highlights sharks and rays. A recent analysis of these species suggests that about 450 of these (37% of the total) are at risk from unsustainable fishing.


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