- Pressemitteilung BoxID 139872
International Year of Biodiversity - Investing in Nature, Improving Lives
"Well managed natural resources are crucial to sustainable development, supporting peaceful communities, encouraging well-balanced economic growth and helping reduce poverty," says Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Director General of IUCN. "Protecting biodiversity protects valuable assets that are vital to the global economy."
The latest update of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(TM) showed that 22 percent of all known mammals, 30 percent of all known amphibians, 12 percent of all known birds, and 28 percent of reptiles, 37 percent of freshwater fish species, 70 percent of plants, 35 percent of invertebrates, assessed so far, are under threat.
Some estimates suggest that the current global rate of species extinction due to human activity is about 1000 times the natural rate of loss. With targets to reduce the loss of biodiversity by 2010 not close to having been met, IUCN is calling for a stronger Convention on Biological Diversity to safeguard life on earth, in all its forms.
"We are facing an extinction crisis," says Jane Smart, Director, IUCN Biodiversity Conservation Group. "We need to remember that extinction is irreversible, once a species is extinct it is gone forever. The loss of this beautiful and complex natural diversity that underpins all life on the planet is a serious threat to humankind now and in the future."
IUCN is calling for ambitious but realistic biodiversity targets, which can be clearly measured and put into practice. It also wants more research on the status of biodiversity, more protected natural areas, on land and sea, and closer collaboration with the business community to find new ways of combining conservation and commerce. Greater public awareness of what's at stake if we continue to disturb and destroy ecosystems is also considered to be a high priority.
"Biodiversity is the basis of all life on earth," says IUCN's Head of Ecosystem Management Programme, Neville Ash. We need practical action and supportive policies to conserve species, manage and restore ecosystems, including protected areas and the wider landscape, and promote the sustainable use of natural resources."
- 11 January 2010: Launch of International Year of Biodiversity, Berlin, Germany
- 20 January 2010: Launch of French round of European Capitals of Biodiversity Competition, Paris, France
- 21 January 2010: Launch of International Year of Biodiversity at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, attended by IUCN Director General, Julia Marton-Lefèvre
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