Obviously, in the middle of the Council Election campaign, the focus generally tends to be on very local issues. However, I took a break from purely Dublin 15 based concerns to examine the UN Global Assessment on Biodiversity report which was released on Monday.
There are so many disturbing statistics in it that it takes a while to digest them all. A couple which stood out to me:
- More than a third of the world’s land surface and nearly 75% of freshwater resources are now devoted to crop or livestock production
- Plastic pollution has increased tenfold since 1980
- Urban areas have more than doubled since 1992
- In 2015, 33% of marine fish stocks were being harvested at unsustainable levels
- 300-400 million tons of heavy metals, solvents, toxic sludge and other wastes from industrial facilities are dumped annually into the world’s waters
What emerges most clearly from the report is that every single country must dramatically change the way it treats Nature. Governments, including our own, must lead the way.