We share this planet with millions of other species and varieties of life, and depend on ecosystems for all our basic needs. While current trends in biodiversity and ecosystem services are sharply and dangerously negative, the right actions, developed and implemented promptly, can restore a biologically rich and ecologically viable planet. (Planet Under Pressure Report, 2012).
WHY WE NEED TO ACT
Human pressure on the worlds natural ecosystems is unprecedented, although some measures have been taken to try to reduce the rates of ecosystem deterioration, it is still continuing and in some cases accelerating (Planet Under Pressure, 2012).
Targets set by the World Sustainable Development summit for 2010 were not achieved, around one third of vulnerable species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red list remain threatened (Planet Under Pressure, 2012).
Traditional varieties of crops and domestic livestock are also threatened despite their ability to adapt well to their local environments. They are being replaced by homogenised farming systems and polluted aquatic ecosystems (Planet Under Pressure, 2012).
Habitat change, over-exploitation, invasive alien species, pollution, and climate change are the most important direct drivers of change in ecosystems (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005).
Natural ecosystems are vital to provide buffers against extreme events such as floods, fires and extreme weather events. If these buffers are no longer in place vulnerability of people and settlements are greatly increased.
(Planet Under Pressure, 2012).