World failing to meet wildlife target - U.N.

Every government in the world needs to do more to protect wildlife, to save animals from extinction, and to live up to the pledges they made decades ago, according to a UN report published Tuesday (September 15).

There are programs that protect rare animals - like the snow leopard- which shows that conservation of nature is still possible.

But about two-thirds of the world’s species including mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles, have been lost over the last 50 years, according to recent data from the World Wildlife Fund.

And scientists say a million species remain at risk of extinction. Tuesday’s UN report makes recommendations such as a rapid phase out of fossil-fuels driving climate change, and changes to farming and urban planning.

Crucially, it calls on governments to follow through on commitments to stop the decline in wildlife.

Especially when conservation goals are being undermined by subsidies that support industrial agriculture, fishing and other businesses that damage ecosystems.

Researchers say the destruction of wild spaces is also increasing the risk of disease jumping from animals to humans - such as was highlighted with the origins of the coronavirus being investigated at a wildlife market in Wuhan, China.