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Million species at risk of extinction: IPBES Report

Date: 08 May 2019 Tags: Biodiversity

According to recent released Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services , 40% of amphibian species and more than a third of all marine mammals are threatened. This loss is direct result of intrusive human activity and constitutes direct threat to human well-being in all regions of the world

About Report

It was released by UN backed Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and was compiled by 145 expert authors from 50 countries. It was endorsed by 130 countries, including US, Russia and China. It contained litany of estimates made after three-year review of some 15,000 scientific papers.

Key Highlights of Report

  • Up to 1 million of  estimated eight million plants, insect and animal species on Earth are at risk of extinction, many within decades. Moreover, 40% of amphibian species and more than third of all marine mammals are threatened by risk of extinctions.
  • Reasons: The loss in species is because of relentless pursuit of economic growth, twinned with the impact of climate change. It shows that profound impact of rise of globalised industrial society on planet over the past half century
  • Industrial farming and commercial fishing are major drivers for species extinction, which is tens to hundreds of times higher than average over the last 10 million years.
  • Climate change caused by burning of oil,  gas and coal produced by fossil fuel industry is exacerbating the losses,
  • Suggestions: Only wide-ranging transformation of the global economic and financial system could pull ecosystems back from the brink of collapse.
  • World needs to embrace new post-growth form of economics if it is to avert existential risks posed by mutually-reinforcing consequences of pollution, habitat destruction and carbon emissions.


The report’s message has been echoed similarly to United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, which had highlighted the need for profound economic and social changes to curb greenhouse gases quickly enough to avert most devastating consequences of a warming world. The findings will also add to pressure for countries to agree bold action to protect wildlife at major conference on biodiversity due to take place in China towards the end of next year.

Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)

  • It is the intergovernmental body which assesses the state of biodiversity and of the ecosystem services it provides to society, in response to requests from decision makers.
  • It was established in 2012 by member states of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Its secretariat (Headquarters) is located in Bonn, Germany. Currently over 130 governments are its member States. India is its founding member.
  • Its objective is to strengthen science-policy interface for biodiversity and ecosystem services for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, long-term human well-being and sustainable development.
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