Sometimes those who care passionately about the environment let themselves and the cause down by hyperbole that desensitises the public and the media to dramatic changes and deterioration in the natural world. But when the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) makes a statement the world (and particularly political and business leaders) should sit up, take notice and take action.
The IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental network - a democratic membership union with more than 1,000 government and NGO member organizations, and almost 11,000 volunteer scientists in more than 160 countries. The IUCN’s work is supported by more than 1,000 professional staff in 60 offices and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world. The Union’s headquarters are located in Gland, near Geneva, Switzerland.
Bill Jackson is the IUCN Deputy Director General and he has said in the past week, “Twenty-one percent of all known mammals, 30 percent of all known amphibians, 12 percent of all known birds, 35 percent of conifers and cycads, 17 percent of sharks and 27 percent of reef-building corals assessed for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ are threatened with extinction.”
So just in case you missed that:-
· 21% of all known mammals
· 30% of all known amphibians
· 12% of all known birds
· 25% of conifers
· 17% of sharks
· 27% of coral reefs
All threatened with extinction.
The famous Red List is regularly updated based on meticulous research flagging the current status of birds and animals species by species.
That is not hyperbole but yet another reliable, scientific and important statement of FACT.
At the moment the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice to the Convention on Biological Diversity, or SBSTTA, is meeting in Nairobi, Kenya between10th and 21st May 2010.
Scientists are hoping to persuade governments to take action to halt the decline, reverse it and build a sustainable future.
As Jane Smart, Director, IUCN Biodiversity Conservation Group has said, “Countries are taking a very shortsighted view of the need to fuel their economies at the expense of nature, so much so that we’re now at crisis point when it comes to the loss of biodiversity.”
The IUCN has set out plans and proposals of how the world can build a sustainable future. Every politician and business leader should read it.