Extinction rates accelerating and how we produce food is a major factor: UN Report on Biodiversity


The United Nations’ first global scientific report on biodiversity has found that species loss is accelerating to a rate tens of hundreds of times faster than in the past. More than half a million species on land have insufficient habitat for long-term survival and are likely to go extinct within decades unless their habitats are restored.

– At least 680 species with backbones have already gone extinct since 1600.
– 559 domesticated breeds of mammals used for food have disappeared.
– More than 40 per cent of the world’s amphibian species, more than one-third of the marine mammals and nearly one-third of sharks and fish are threatened with extinction.

“We are threatening the potential food security, water security, human health and social fabric” of humanity” says the report’s lead author, Dr. Robert Watson. The report was also co-authored by Canadian professor Kai Chan from The University of British Columbia.

Kai Chan, UBC professor and co-author of the UN Global Assessment report on CBC’s Power & Politics

The report says many of the worst effects can be prevented by changing the way we grow food, produce energy, dispose of waste and address climate change.

More Information