The report, released in Paris by Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) on May 6th 2019, really shone a light on the state of our environment. The report stressed that it isn’t too late to make a difference and local action is key to making a significant difference. “The health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide.” said IPBES Chair, Sir Robert Watson “The Report also tells us that it is not too late to make a difference, but only if we start now at every level from local to global,” he said. It recommends the following policies and actions for freshwater environments:
- Develop inclusive water governance for collaborative water management and better integration of water resource management and landscape planning.
- Promote practices to reduce soil erosion, sedimentation and pollution run-off.
- Increase water storage.
- Promote investment in water projects which have a clear sustainability criteria.
- Address the fragmentation of many freshwater policies.
- More than 85% of wetlands present in 1700 had been lost by 2000 – loss of wetlands is currently three times faster, in percentage terms, than forest loss.
- More than 40%: amphibian species threatened with extinction.
- 25% average proportion of species threatened with extinction across terrestrial, freshwater and marine vertebrate, invertebrate and plant groups that have been studied in sufficient detail.
- 70% increase since 1970 in numbers of invasive alien species across 21 countries with detailed records.
- More than a third of the world’s land surface and nearly 75% of freshwater resources are now devoted to crop or livestock production.
- 23% of land areas that have seen a reduction in productivity due to land degradation.
- 33%: marine fish stocks in 2015 being harvested at unsustainable levels
- More than 80%: global wastewater discharged untreated into the environment
- Plastic pollution has increased tenfold since 1980. 300-400 million tons of heavy metals, solvents, toxic sludge and other wastes from industrial facilities are dumped annually into the world’s waters.
- Fertilizers entering coastal ecosystems have produced more than 400 ocean ‘dead zones’, totalling more than 245,000 km2 (591-595) – a combined area greater than that of the United Kingdom.
- Nature managed by Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities is under increasing pressure but is generally declining less rapidly than in other lands.