Report: Earth's diversity is diminishing

March 21, 2006

The Convention on Biological Diversity, meeting in Brazil, says virtually all indicators of the diversity of life on Earth are increasingly negative.

The U.N. organization commits governments to slow the decline in the planet's living systems by 2010. But the convention's Global Biodiversity Outlook released this week says "unprecedented efforts" will be needed to achieve that aim, the BBC reported Tuesday.

The report notes Earth's fish are being harvested faster than their natural replacement rate, water is being withdrawn faster than aquifers are replenished, and the biosphere takes one year and nearly three months to renew what humanity exploits in one year.

Other indicators, the GBO says, point to an accelerating decline, that has seen the rates of species extinctions surge to their highest levels since the demise of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

Environmental officials and ministers from more than 180 nations are meeting in the Brazilian city of Curitiba during the next two weeks to discuss the report.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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