2030 will be a make-or-break point for animals and nature, scientists warn

A recovered anteater is released in Amazon forest, Brazil, photo: Reuters/Ueslei Marcelino
A recovered anteater is released in Amazon forest, Brazil, photo: Reuters/Ueslei Marcelino

To save nature and animals, countries have to aggressively attack climate change problems in different areas at once,┬áleading scientists said in the report ‘Set ambitious goals for biodiversity and sustainability’, published in the journal Science.

From preventing the extinction of polar bears to halting the destruction of forests, only a multi-focused plan can put together a “safety net” for the natural world, the experts said.

“All the evidence lines up to tell us that 2030 is a crucial deadline and that we must succeed in defining ambitious and tangible targets,” co-author Yunne Jai Shin, research director at the Research Institute for Development in 
Marseilles, told AFP.

“It will not be enough to have, for example, an ambitious goal for reducing species extinctions if goals for ecosystems and genetic diversity are not sufficiently ambitious too,” co-author Piero Visconti, a researcher at the 
International Institute for Applied System Analysis said in a statement.

So far, efforts to protect and restore nature on a global scale have failed spectacularly. The planet is at the point of a mass extinction event in which species are disappearing at 100 to 1,000 times the ‘normal’ rate, most scientists agree.

Last month the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Living Planet Index showed that wild populations of animals, birds and fish have plummeted nearly 70 percent since 1970

“We are utterly failing to protect the diversity of life on Earth,” Johan Rockstrom, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and co-chair of the international Earth Commission, said at the time. “We are failing to protect the resilience of our global commons. And we are failing to ensure a stable planet for future generations.”

Next year’s United Nations biodiversity summit COP-15 in China is widely seen by experts as a make-or-break moment for halting and reversing nature’s destruction.

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