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Nature's emergency: Where we are in five graphics

May 6, 2019 5:14 am

The felling of forests, the plundering of seas and soils, and the pollution of air and water are together pushing the natural world to the brink.

That’s the warning more than 500 experts in 50 countries are expected to give in a major UN-backed report, due to be published on Monday.

The assessment will highlight the losses that have hit the natural world over the past 50 years and how the future is looking bleak for tens to hundreds of thousands of species.

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The document, from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), is also expected to set out an urgent rescue plan for nature.

So what do we know about the health of the planet in terms of biodiversity (the variety of living things on Earth and the ecosystems they belong to)?

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is a critical measure of our impact on nature.

Almost 100,000 species have been assessed so far for this inventory of endangered species. Of these, more than a quarter are threatened with extinction, ranging from Madagascar’s lemurs to amphibians like frogs and salamanders, and plants such as conifers and orchids.

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