‘Save the dung beetle!’ Global science chief says biodiversity vital

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Governments should extend the protection of nature far beyond iconic creatures such as tigers and elephants to species including worms and beetles that are vital to human prosperity, the chair of a global scientific project said on Thursday.

More than 550 IPBES experts from more than 100 nations, in the most comprehensive review to date, will issue regional reports about the state of nature in the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, Africa, and Europe and Central Asia in March 2018.

They will also issue a report on land degradation and restoration in 2018, and a global summary of biodiversity in 2019, he said.

Man-made threats to nature include pollution, the clearance of forests to make way for farms and cities, invasive species in new habitats and rising temperatures caused by man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

IPBES issued its first report last year, showing that bees and other pollinators are at risk from pesticides and disease.

It estimated that $235 billion to $577 billion of annual world food production at market prices, from coffee in Brazil to apples in China, depends on pollinators.

The IPBES reports would gauge the risks to natural systems, ranging from coral reefs to cloud forests.

Some past U.N. reports say that human pressures mean the world is heading for a “sixth extinction” comparable to the cataclysm that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

 

 

 

Source:  News agencies