UN official calls for stemming biodiversity loss

12, Nov 2018

“The loss of biodiversity is a silent killer,” Cristiana Pasca Palmer, executive secretary of the United Nations’ Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), has told the Guardian, adding, “It’s different from climate change, where people feel the impact in everyday life. With biodiversity, it is not so clear but by the time you feel what is happening, it may be too late.” CBD members are meeting in November 2018 to begin talks regarding “a new framework for managing  the world’s ecosystems and wildlife,” the Guardian noted, saying that these would launch two years of negotiations. Pasca Palmer is hoping that these will result in a global deal at the next conference, to be held in Beijing in 2020. While she acknowledged some positive developments, Pasca Palmer said that the overall biodiversity situation is concerning. In the next 30 years, climate change and burgeoning human populations will speed up the already high rates of biodiversity loss due to the destruction of habitats, chemical pollution, and invasive species, the Guardian stated, later adding that the “loss of plants and sea life” will hamper the planet’s ability to absorb carbon, setting up a vicious cycle. “I hope we aren’t the first species to document our own extinction,” Pasca Palmer told the Guardian. Notably, a recent report from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) found that 60% of the world’s reptiles, mammals, fish, and birds have been lost since 1970.


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