Working for birds in Africa

IPBES gives grim message on the state of biodiversity

Date posted: 
Friday, May 10, 2019

Unprecedented intergovernmental scientific report joins public outcry for urgent action.

Protestors in London at the Extinction Rebellion protest

© Sarah Cresswell

A major new global assessment provides a wake-up call to decision-makers: we are not on track to meet universal goals for biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. Individual successes show that we have the knowledge and tools to turn things around, but transformative change, through stronger and sustained political commitment, is urgently needed to safeguard and restore the natural ecosystems on which we depend.

In recent weeks we’ve had daily news headlines on the Extinction Rebellion protest blocking the streets of London, Sir David Attenborough explaining the science behind climate change on prime-time television and 16-year old climate activist Greta Thunberg meeting with party leaders in Parliament, all flagging the need for urgent action to tackle the interlinked issues of climate change, biodiversity loss and ecological collapse.

Across the world civil society has similarly mobilised: from school children striking for the climate in 30 countries, fellow ‘rebel’ protests from South Africa to Hong Kong to Australia, and indigenous people gathering to demand environmental protections for their territories in Brazil.

This is not a report by ‘experts’ to government, but a report endorsed and adopted BY governments, as members of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) – akin to the respected and highly influential Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that informs negotiations at the UN climate change convention. Have a look at the IPBES link above and read more here.

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