Tag: extinction

UK govt fails to hit biodiversity targets

In news that will come as no surprise to anyone paying attention, the UK has failed to meet nearly all of the biodiversity targets set at the 2010 Convention on Biological Biodiversity held in Nagoya, Japan (COP 9, which opened that year by saying that, “In April 2002, the Parties to the Convention committed themselves to achieve by 2010 a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss at the global, regional and national level as a contribution to poverty alleviation and to the benefit of all life on Earth” – a target which was also missed). According to an analysis by the RSPB the UK has failed to reach 17 out of 20 UN biodiversity targets agreed on at COP 9 in 2010, saying that the gap between rhetoric and reality has resulted in a “lost decade for nature” (a refrain repeated in the BBC’s ‘Extinction: The Facts’ programme which aired last night).

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The World at War (with nature)

WWF have just released their LIVING PLANET REPORT 2020 and it’s not good news for – well, for anyone. It’s not good news nor is it easy reading. Over well over 100 pages of text and illustration (plus pages of index and references), WWF explains – essentially – that we are taking more for ourselves and allowing less for everything else.  There are attempts to cheer us up with new initiatives with catchy names like ‘Bending the Curve of Biodiversity Loss’, but the facts are that the global Living Planet Index continues to decline, which means humans are continuing to ravage the planet and unpick the ecosystems all life relies upon.

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Functional extinction 101

A recent report suggested that sharks – hunted in such vast numbers that more than 50 percent of shark and ray species that have been fully assessed by the IUCN are Threatened or Near Threatened with extinction – are now ‘functionally extinct’ at 20% of the world’s coral reefs. But what does that mean? Are there now no sharks at one-fifth of the world’s coral reefs? And why might that matter anyway? ‘Functional extinction’ may be a term that is not – at the moment anyway – widely-known, but with a sixth mass extinction (humanity’s ‘war on wildlife’) seemingly imminent, it’s likely we’ll be hearing more and more about species that are considered to be ‘functionally extinct’.

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