New York — The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) launched the summary of a groundbreaking report today showing an alarming decline in nature and its vital contributions to people. The IPBES report issues the same clarion call to action that the IPCC’s climate report did last year.

The international team of leading researchers warn that erosion of biodiversity is hitting the rural poor the hardest, cause for both social instability and conflict. It compromises the ability to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change. At the same time, accelerating loss of forests and illegal wildlife trade is putting some of the planet’s most iconic species at serious risk of extinction.

“From bees pollinating crops, to forests protecting us from floods, the world’s leading scientists on nature today released the IPBES report on how humans are threatening 1 million species with extinction by destroying the very ecosystems supporting our societies.   We have the power to stop these trends in their tracks, but it will require a profound and rapid transformation of our economies, markets, policies and behaviors,” stated Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator.

UNDP calls for immediate actions for transformative change to invest in unprecedented conservation and restoration – of forests, wetlands, agricultural lands and mangroves, to ensure water security, food security, and sustainable livelihoods, which is key to meeting the global goals.   Engaging the private sector to unleash the capital is vital, and at the same time ensuring the role of communities, and indigenous peoples who roughly hold 80% of all biodiversity.

2020 is a chance to hit the reset button on biodiversity ambition, and start to bend the curve toward recovery, restoration, rehabilitation. Solutions are within our grasp to reverse the trends, but it takes commitment at all levels of society.

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