The “three planetary crises” of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution are reinforcing each other and driving further damage to the environment and to our health, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said on Tuesday.
Executive Director Inger Andersen told an online discussion that the “significant and pathbreaking” information contained in the UN agency’s synthesis report Making Peace With Nature, not only breaks down the science, but also shines a light on “the kind of gearshifts” needed for a steady trajectory forward.
This includes reaching for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 12, on sustainable production and consumption, as well as making societies “much more aware of our footprint” on Earth.
Notwithstanding the need to lift people out of poverty, turn the wheels of economy and end world hunger, the report looks at what the earth can provide, and how it must be treated, to remain sustainable.
Unless improvements are made, the planet is set to lose about a million species, out of an estimated eight million, Ms. Andersen warned.
Making peace with nature
During the discussion, report writers Ivar Andreas Baste and Robert Watson, along with scientific advisor Joyeeta Gupta explained how the key findings rested upon a range of assessments, including from UN agencies, intergovernmental environmental bodies and multilateral environmental agreements.