Climate Change And Invasive Species Present Greatest Threats To Biodiversity

The United Nations says climate change, pollution, deforestation and over hunting have led to a rapid rise in extinctions, threatening the richness of nature that underpins services such as clean air, water as well as food and health.

The study by Nairobi based Global Invasive Species Programme says a warmer world, more extreme weather and higher levels of global warming carbon dioxide will give some species an edge, devastating ecosystems at sea and on land.

Climate change is set to drive the spread of invasive plant and animal species, threatening forests, fisheries and crops, in a double blow to nature and livelihoods, a World Bank funded report said on Friday.

“The estimated damage from invasive species worldwide totals more than $ 1.4 trillion annually, 5 percent of the global economy,” says the report issued on the major UN meeting in Japan aimed at combating the destruction of nature.

“Individually, climate change and invasive species present two of the greatest threats to biodiversity and the provision of valuable ecosystem services,” says the report for policy makers.

It outlines myriad examples of invasive plants and animals that have proven much more adept at survival than other local species, leading to erosion, damage to crops, livestock and fisheries and lost income of tourism.