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COP15 kicks off as alarm grows over falling wildlife populations

Elephants in a national park in Gabon   -  
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A month after the COP27 climate change summit in Egypt, COP15 on Biodiversity kicks off in Canada. The objective for the 196 countries present is to halt the decline of life. And the call for action is urgent.

According to the latest World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report, wildlife populations have on average declined by 69% since 1970. 

The current rapid rate of loss is a direct result of rampant human activity since the Industrial Revolution, the report says.

Jen Hacking works for the global conservation division at WWF international. She warns that a common framework is essential to be agreed upon, as protecting land and sea can prevent a sixth phase of mass extinction:

“There is the imperative to conserve the habitats that we have in nature. And the target is to conserve 30% of the land, freshwater [lakes] and oceans and restore global ecosystems by 2030. Now, that’s only eight years away, now. It’s a big goal,” she said.

This framework, known as the ’30 by 30’, is the pinnacle countries will aim towards. Jen Hacking also says that this COP should provide people with the tools and knowledge of how to reverse the trend. With a million species facing extinction around the world, the issue is urgent:

“You may not think that this might save an elephant in Africa, but reduce your food waste: so, do we buy too much? Do we throw away too much? Do restaurants throw away too much?" 

There is some evidence that we could probably reduce our food waste by half. You’re thinking, well how could that save an elephant in Africa? Well, that means that we don’t need to deforest another hectare of land to produce palm oil,” Hacking said. 

The world has yet to hit any target on biodiversity. Parties will have 2 weeks from now to overturn this trend.

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