Almost 100,000 species have been assessed so far for this inventory of endangered species. Of these, more than a quarter are threatened with extinction.
The Earth is being driven towards a mass extinction event – only the sixth in the last half-billion years.
Current extinction rates are about 1,000 times higher than before Humans came along, and future rates are likely to about 10,000 times higher, according to estimates.
The diversity of life on Earth is the defining feature of our planet – we do not know of any other planets that have life on them. We developed and evolved with other species here, and their diversity allows us to thrive.
So, it is very reckless to assume that we can do without them and that we do not have some responsibility for all those other species.
There are benefits of biodiversity that we largely take for granted. These are things like primary production, which is the way plants convert energy from the sun and is the basis for all life on Earth.
Wild species break down organic material back into nutrients, so it can be recycled and used again. The water cycle also relies heavily on living organisms.
The health of biodiversity on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide.
We are in deep trouble if we do not act.