Land Use Patterns Connected to Biodiversity Crisis

As many as 1 million species are at risk of extinction if the world, including planning professionals and politicians, doesn't make big changes.

1 minute read

December 24, 2019, 7:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Panama City Rainforest Fog

Bob Jagendorf / Flickr

"The great biodiversity of Earth is diminishing so fast that we are now in an extinction crisis," according to an article by Brian Resnick.

"In the past decade, 467 species have been declared extinct (though they might have gone extinct in decades prior), according to the global authority on species conservation status, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, or IUCN. Others have been brought to the brink and still more are seeing serious declines in their population numbers."

The decade has also produced new knowledge about the causes and scope of species loss, as documented thoroughly in the article. The article also includes a list of the five root cases of the biodiversity crisis. Number one on the list: changes in land and sea use.

Resnick explains: "The area of the world that’s been unaltered and untouched by humans is shrinking all the time. And when it shrinks, so does room for nature. A third of the world’s land, the report finds, is currently reserved for agriculture or livestock. Around 100 million hectares (a hectare is 10,000 square meters, or about 2.47 acres) of tropical forest disappeared between 1980 and 2000."

Climate change and pollution also make the list.

Thursday, December 19, 2019 in Vox

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