The United Nations report noted five main drivers of threats to biodiversity: changes in land and sea use, direct exploitation of organisms, climate change, pollution, and invasion of alien species. Marine pollution was identified as a particular area of concern.
By Katherine Unger Baillie and Michele W. Berger
The scale of the threats is massive: One million plant and animal species face imminent extinction due to human activity. That was the major finding of a report by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, a summary of which was released earlier this month.
The assessment, which took three years, involved 145 expert authors as well as indigenous and local knowledge, and reviewed 15,000 scientific and government sources, reveals unprecedented and accelerating risks for biodiversity and human life.
To shed light on the report’s implications, Penn Today reached out to experts across the University in a range of subjects, from psychology to sustainability, sociology to biology, asking for their primary impressions of the study and for advice on how to take action.