Thoughts about biodiversity

17 Aug

Statistics can often heighten the sense of danger. Excerpts of a speech by the secretary-general of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, Ahmed Djoghlaf (published by Guardian), can jolt us into understanding the magnitude of environmental destruction that modern industralised/ capitalistic societies can impact upon.

I quote,

‘According to the UN Environment Programme, the Earth is in the midst of a mass extinction of life. Scientists estimate that 150-200 species of plant, insect, bird and mammal become extinct every 24 hours. This is nearly 1,000 times the “natural” or “background” rate and, say many biologists, is greater than anything the world has experienced since the vanishing of the dinosaurs nearly 65m years ago. Around 15% of mammal species and 11% of bird species are classified as threatened with extinction.’

If this bit does not sound ominous, what does?

It is not an exaggeration to claim that governments relegate environmental issues to the backseat either. According to Djoghlaf in the same article, only 140 states have submitted plans to protect biodiversity. Out of this number, only 16 have modified their plans since 1993.

Do governments in general care about the environment or are they tossed away in the too-hard-to-do-nobody cares pile?


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