International Union for Conservation of Nature Report

Dear Friends

The latest report coming out of the IUCN meeting taking place this week in Barcelona, makes for very worrying reading. As much as 36% of the world’s mammal species may be in danger of becoming extinct and 25% of mammal species are in decline. One of the key factors is, according to IUCN, the invasion of the last remaining animal habitats by human beings – we really are unstoppable!

It has made me appreciate even more how important the world’s network of protected areas – National Parks and Reserves – are. Currently, I think I am right in saying, about 8% of the world’s surface is formally protected. However, that does not mean it is well protected because resources are always in short supply, perhaps now more than ever. These are the areas we have set aside and where nature and wildlife is the No 1 priority.

There are those that say we should open up these protected areas to embrace a multi-use strategy – hunting, commercial exploitation of wildlife and ecosystem services. It would be the kiss of death!

Humankind is being put to the test. We can either ensure that a significant proportion of our planet’s biodiversity survives alongside our species or we can take over entirely, enter every last bastion of the natural world – and watch it all go to the wall.

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