Nearly one million plant and animal species—more than at any other period in human history—are on the verge of extinction, according to a United Nation report released this week.
If humans think that level of biodiversity loss has nothing to do with them, they’re kidding themselves.
Robert Watson, chair of the UN’s Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, told the New York Times:
“For a long time, people just thought of biodiversity as saving nature for its own sake. But this report makes clear the links between biodiversity and nature and things like food security and clean water in both rich and poor countries.”
The Washington Post reported:
The [UN] report emphasizes the effects humans have on animals that are key to their own survival. Pesticides sprayed by farmers kill pollinators such as bees and other insects will likely to have a devastating effect on crops. Homeowners contribute to the problem by purchasing “bug zappers” that target mosquitoes but also eliminate key pollinators such as butterflies and moths, as well as common flies that some animals rely on for food.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard that killing off the bees and other pollinators is a bad idea. And clearly, the looming extinction of pollinators isn’t the only problem that needs fixing—but it’s a good place to start.