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'Coming Mass Extinction' Caused by Human Destruction Could Wipe Out 1 Million Species, Warns UN Draft Report

up to a million species face possible extinction because of destructive human behavior.

The warning comes from a forthcoming United Nations report, a draft of which was obtained by AFP,

A product of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the landmark three-year assessment was prepared by 150 experts from 50 countries, with additions from another 250 contributors.

As John Vidal wrote in a preview of the study for HuffPost last month, “It is the greatest attempt yet to assess the state of life on Earth and will show how tens of thousands of species are at high risk of extinction, how countries are using nature at a rate that far exceeds its ability to renew itself, and how nature’s ability to contribute food and fresh water to a growing human population is being compromised in every region on Earth.”

Outlining some of the experts’ key findings, AFP reported Tuesday:

The accelerating loss of clean air, drinkable water, CO2-absorbing forests, pollinating insects, protein-rich fish, and storm-blocking mangroves—to name but a few of the dwindling services rendered by nature—poses no less of a threat than climate change…

The direct causes of species loss, in order of importance, are shrinking habitat and land-use change, hunting for food or illicit trade in body parts, climate change, pollution, and alien species such as rats, mosquitoes, and snakes that hitch rides on ships or planes, the report finds.