Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

[Slashdot] - Chilling Report Suggests 1 Out of 5 Countries Could Be Headed For Ecosystem Collapse

Recommended Posts

An anonymous reader quotes a report from ScienceAlert: A new insurance index from the Swiss Re Institute has found just over half of all global GDP -- nearly 42 trillion US dollars -- is dependent on goods and services provided by the natural world. In many places around the world, however, that sturdy foundation is turning to sand. The report, referred to as the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Index, shows a fifth of the world's countries currently stand on fragile ecological ground, with more than a third of their land disrupted by human activity. That's 39 countries with ecosystems that could be at risk of collapse, largely due to widespread declines in biodiversity, whether that be from deforestation, farming, mining, run-off, invasive species, or a decline in pollinators. The index was designed to give governments and businesses a benchmark for the state of local ecosystems important to their economies, in the hope that the data can help inform relevant insurance solutions for communities at risk. Developing nations in the index with large agricultural sectors -- like Kenya, Vietnam, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Nigeria -- are particularly at risk due to their GDP's reliance on natural resources, but "densely populated and economically important regions" such as Southeast Asia, Europe, and America are also exposed to risk despite their economic diversification. Among the top of the rankings sit Australia and South Africa, which are also among the world's largest economies, and are both also dealing with water scarcity, pollination, and coastal protection issues. "For all 195 nations, researchers assessed the state of 10 'ecosystem services,' such as intact habitat, air quality, water security, soil fertility, coastal protection, erosion, and timber provision," the report adds. "Nearly a third of the countries -- exactly 60 in total -- were found to have ecosystems in a fragile state on more than 20 percent of their land. Only 41 countries had intact ecosystems covering the same expanse of land." "This index doesn't necessarily mean these ecosystems or the economies that rely on them are doomed, but if we keep tracking the way we are, human activity could very well lead to tipping points and abrupt ecosystem collapse."

twitter_icon_large.png facebook_icon_large.png

Read more of this story at Slashdot.


View the full article

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using The Great Escaped Online Community, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use