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How wild species support half of world’s population?

How wild species support half of world's population?

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biological Diversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the IPCC for biodiversity, has published a new report that concludes that 50,000 wild species are used globally to meet the needs of billions of people. and urges measures to ensure sustainable use that does not further aggravate the global biodiversity crisis. The report also warns of the economic dangers that the collapse of ecosystems will have.

“Billions of people, in both developed and developing countries, benefit daily from the use of wild species for food, energy, materials and medicine,” says the report by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biological Diversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

“Around 50,000 wild species are used in different ways, including more than 10,000 species that are used directly for human food,” according to one of the report’s authors, Jean-Marc Fromentin.

Experts warn that there are more than 50,000 wild species exploited to meet the needs of billions of people and appeal for sustainable exploitation so as not to further aggravate the global biodiversity crisis.

70% of the people considered poor in the world depend on wild species

Fromentin also highlights that “rural populations in developing countries are the most exposed to unsustainable use since the absence of complementary alternatives often forces them to continue exploiting wild species that are already at risk.”

‘Overharvesting is one of the main threats to the survival of many terrestrial and aquatic wildlife species,’ said Professor John Donaldson, who was also on the team leading the report.

“Addressing the causes of unsustainable use and, where possible, reversing such trends will deliver positive outcomes for wildlife and the people who depend on them,” he added.

The report highlights the knowledge that many indigenous peoples have about use and recommends cooperation between them and the scientific community to achieve more sustainable exploitation of wild species.

Overexploitation, main threat

The IPBES 9 report highlights that more than 10,000 wild species are exploited to guarantee food and that 2,400 million people depend on wood as firewood for cooking. Around 1,300 species of wild mammals are threatened by hunting; although the most worrying activity for experts in the global trade in endangered species.

Faced with this situation, the Intergovernmental Scientific-Regulatory Platform on Biological Diversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) points out new alternatives to preserve biodiversity as much as possible on a global scale in a report approved last Friday after four years of work by the representatives of the 139 Member States that make up this body.

The global trade in wildlife species has experienced an increase in volume, value and commercial networks during the last four decades, which is why it is urgent to approve effective regulations in all supply chains, commercial activities in wild species “usually increase the pressure on these and cause unsustainable use and, sometimes, the destruction of the wild population”, as occurs with the shark fin trade.

The study focuses on the illegal wildlife trade, which is the third-largest class of illegal trade, with estimated annual values ​​of up to $199 billion in the United States. Wood and fish abound in it both in volume and value.

The report’s conclusions focus on new policies. In measures that support “secure tenure rights, equitable access to land, fishing and forests, as well as poverty alleviation” in order to generate “the conditions conducive to a more sustainable use of wild species”.

However, some factors must be taken into account that will determine the level and quality of use of wild species: climate change, increased demand and technological advances will present significant challenges for sustainability in the future, as they will intensify the efficiency of extractive practices.

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