One million species are facing extinction according to the 2019 Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services report, due to habitat destruction, overexploitation of wildlife, climate change, the introduction of invasive species, and pollution. The loss of biodiversity threatens human, environmental, and wildlife health by reducing ecosystem services such as zoonotic disease buffering, water filtration, pollination, soil replenishment, provisioning of game species, and recreational opportunities. Biodiversity loss also disproportionately affects people of color, low-income, and tribal communities who have been systematically targeted with harmful environmental policies and excluded from conservation efforts.
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1 million species are threatened with extinction while 75% of all land and 66% of aquatic environments are being severely degraded.
Populations of mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, and reptiles have declined by an average of 68% with the US alone losing 3 billion birds since 1970.
The five main drivers of biodiversity loss are habitat destruction, overexploitation of wildlife, climate change, the introduction of invasive species, and pollution.
Biodiversity and Environmental Justice
Marginalized and underserved communities across the globe are facing disproportionate threats from the loss of nature, and are leading efforts to conserve and restore biodiversity. Biodiversity solutions should center the perspectives and inclusion of tribal communities, low-income communities, people of color, and other marginalized groups.
80% of the Earth’s Biodiversity
Indigenous peoples currently protect 80% of the Earth’s biodiversity, despite comprising less than 5% of the world’s population. Within the United States, combining all federally recognized tribal land and land co-managed by states and tribes would constitute the fifth largest state in the United States.