The International Union for Conservation of Nature will publish, today, Saturday, September 4, during its World Conference in Marseille, the highly anticipated “Red List of Threatened Species”, as it will allow assessment of the ongoing destruction of our environment and will be attached for the first time to a “Green List” that includes successes in the field of nature conservation.
Higher rates of extinction
Since 1964, experts from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) have published this list, which ranks tens of thousands of animals, plants and organisms, each species, on a scale of nine categories, from those that do not cause concern to those that will “extinct” permanently. Over the years, FAO experts have assessed and reassessed 135,000 species, approximately 28% of which are considered threatened today.
“The trends show that we are between 100 and 1,000 times higher than normal rates of extinction (…) and if it continues to rise at this pace, we will soon face a major crisis,” Craig Hilton-Taylor, head of the department that manages the IUCN Red List, told AFP.
Human destruction of nature that sharply reduces wildlife habitats, as well as overexploitation of some species, hunting and trafficking have caused great damage to living creatures.
However, scientists and experts on plants and animals are expressing more and more concerns about the impact of climate warming. Scientists attributed the reason for the changes in the categories in part to the climate crisis, which may directly affect the conditions of life of some species, and even their biological characteristics, such as reproduction.
a lot of pressure
The transfer of one type from one category to another could have major consequences in terms of tightening or softening laws, as well as in terms of vision and funding.
Craig Hilton-Taylor acknowledges that “a lot of pressure” is being put on revisions to the regulation, to avoid some emblematic species moving into a less threatening category. “There are a lot of concerns that if something goes down (in the categories), the investments will stop,” the official explains.
The Green List aims to rank the successes of species conservation programs implemented in specially protected areas. The regulation takes into account the standards of governance, planning, and of course the results.
The head of the “red list” explained that the goal is to be able to “assess whether the efforts were crowned with success,” adding, “If we do nothing, where will this type be? And if we stop all our efforts now, what will happen to him?” The first answers are expected at 12:30 GMT, with the new classifications revealed.
Living in harmony by 2050
The conference, which has been postponed twice due to the COVID-19 crisis, is part of an important round of negotiations leading up to the COP15 Biodiversity Conference in China in April 2022.
During this conference, the international community is expected to adopt a text aimed at “living in harmony with nature” by 2050, with interim targets for 2030.
Humanity is running out of time, because despite the urgent need, countries have not kept their commitments to reverse the trend in terms of biodiversity for the period 2010-2020.
The IUCN Conference will play an important role in the negotiation process, bringing together a wide range of actors, governments, NGOs and members of civil society.