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One in eight species will soon become extinct

“One in eight species will soon become extinct”. In an assessment report published today, the United Nations sounds the alarm on the dramatic decline of world biodiversity.

Slow Food has been denouncing the risks of the intensive food production system for over 20 years now and has already catalogued 5000 food products to save. Today it urges the world’s governments to take these studies into serious consideration.

A million plants and animals will soon disappear from the face of the earth and the health of ecosystems is deteriorating faster than ever. This is the alarm sounded by the United Nations, whose Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (Ibpes) met in Paris on April 29 and made the outcome of three years of research on the state of biodiversity public today.

“The world’s most important institutions are now registering a dramatic situation that Slow Food has been exposing for the last 30 years,” says Carlo Petrini, president of Slow Food. “Over the last 70 years we have destroyed three quarters of the agro-biodiversity developed by farmers in the 10,000 years before. Authoritative sources have long been warning us that we are now experiencing the sixth mass extinction and, for the first time, human beings are to blame for the global ecological crisis. The scenario described is very serious and the loss of species, breeds and natural habitats is very severe indeed. Time is running but we do have one tool that could effectively change the situation: namely our daily food. By changing our eating choices we can do a lot to save the soil, water and the entire planet.’

In Slow Food’s view, biodiversity is a concrete response to everyday emergencies and difficulties such as climate change. This is why it has catalogued more than 5,000 to save with its Ark of Taste initiative, launched more than 500 Presidia—projects to support farmers, pastoralists and fishers—and has explained the value of biodiversity with its gardens, chefs’ networks, events and education.

There is still a great deal to be done. It is necessary for us to prepare ourselves to address this challenge mindfully, and it is vital for governments, institutions, enterprises and finance on the one hand, and, above all, individual citizens, on the other, to rally together immediately.

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