— Out of 63,837 species on the “Red List” updated annually by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), 19,817 are at risk of extinction.
— Of these, 3,947 are critically endangered, 5,766 endangered and 10,104 considered vulnerable. Sixty-three species have become extinct in the wild and 801 have been completely wiped out.
— Threatened groups include 41 percent of all amphibian species, 33 percent of reef-building corals, 25 percent of mammals, 20 percent of plants and 13 percent of birds.
— Last year, scientists wrote in the journal Nature that Man may have unleashed the sixth known mass extinction in Earth’s history—the last having wiped out the dinosaurs some 65 million years ago. — About 1.75 million species of plants, insects and microorganisms have so far been identified by researchers, with scientists estimating there are between three million and 100 million species on Earth.
— Indian economist Pavan Sukhdev, in a report in 2010, estimated that biodiversity loss came at a cost of between 1.35 trillion and 3.1 trillion euros ($1.75 trillion and $4 trillion) per year.
— Countries pledged under the Millennium Development Goals to achieve a “significant reduction” in the rate of plant and animal loss by 2010, a goal the UN has admitted was badly missed.
— The last CBD conference in Nagoya, Japan in 2010, adopted a 20-point plan to turn back biodiversity loss by 2020.
— Its targets include halving the rate of habitat loss, expanding water and land areas under conservation, preventing the extinction of species currently on the threatened list, and restoring at least 15 percent of degraded ecosystems. (c) 2012 AFP