Annual Red List And The New IUCN Red List Web Site Updates The Good and The Bad

red list 01 Annual Red List And The New IUCN Red List Web Site Updates The Good and The Bad

If someone told you the amount of money in your bank account was going to decrease somewhere between 100 and 1,000 times in the next year, the sheer uncertainty of that loss would send you into a panic. That rate is the same speed at which scientists estimate global warming and human pollution are affecting animal extinction each year — yet we all remain oddly at ease.

The World Conservation Union, known as the IUCN, recently released its yearly Red List of species that are facing a higher risk of global extinction. The IUCN lists these species into groups including Critically Endangered, Endangered, and Vulnerable… categories not too different from those I use to balance my own checking account!

This year the IUCN added 188 new species for a grand total of 16,300 animals, plants, and marine life at risk. According to Craig Hilton-Tailor the Red List’s Manager, this number is still extremely low. “We’ve only really looked at the tip of the iceberg in terms of species that are out there and known to science.” While scientists estimate there could be nearly 15 million species in the world, only 1.8 million are confirmed to exist. Although the IUCN is the world’s largest conservation network, spanning 83 states, 110 international government agencies, 800 private organizations, 10,000 scientists, and 181 countries, they still only have the resources to review just above 40,000 species a year. So what does all this number crunching really mean?

red list 02 Annual Red List And The New IUCN Red List Web Site Updates The Good and The Bad

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Destructive Greed Is Killing The Trees, Wildlife and People of the Congo

congo forest destruction 08 Destructive Greed Is Killing The Trees, Wildlife and People of the Congo

A report from the Internal Investigations Panel for World Bank found that the organization had been encouraging destructive logging of the world’s second largest forest. According to The Nation, “the Congo’s forests act as the planet’s second lung, counterpart to the rapidly dwindling Amazon.”

The Congo forest locks around 8% of the world’s carbon. Close to 40 million people depend on the Congo forest for medicine, food and shelter. Controlling the affect of rainfall over the North Atlantic, the Congo forest plays a huge part in the biodiversity of our planet. Over the past few years, with encouragement from the World Bank, timber firms have taken around one quarter of the forest, which is equal in size to the state of California.

In 2002, the World Bank entered the Democratic Republic of Congo with the thoughts of aiding in the country’s economic recovery after years of war. New forestry laws were created. However, the Internal Investigations Panel found that the new policies set in place by the bank were having an opposite effect – not just socially, but economically.

congo forest destruction 051 Destructive Greed Is Killing The Trees, Wildlife and People of the Congo

congo forest destruction 041 Destructive Greed Is Killing The Trees, Wildlife and People of the Congo

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