Humans are killing species in greater rates than ever before, says the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Three years in the making, IPBES’ 1800-page study states that one million animal and plant species are at risk of extinction due to human activities. The message is clear: we need to change the way humanity interacts with the environment across all of its activities to avoid ecological disaster. Although acknowledging that there are no simple “one-size fits all” answers, the report suggests that moving from the current paradigm economic growth - where GDP is the key indicator – to a holistic alternative that encompasses quality of life and takes into account externalities and the long-term impacts of decisions may be a start.
This is the latest study to emphasize the need for urgent action to reduce biodiversity loss and save endangered species. IPBES calls for “transformative action”, to break paradigms and to change consumption habits and lifestyles. In this sense, innovation is key. We need innovative thinking to redefine our relationship with nature and innovative tools, such as gene drive, that can help revert current catastrophic trends.
The summary of the report is available on IPBES website.