NEW DELHI: Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history and its impact will see extinction of one million of the eight million estimated number of animal and plant species, many of them within decades, unless their habitats are restored, said the UN-backed inter-governmental body in a report released in Paris on Monday.

Blaming "human activities' for such threat, the body comprising 130 member countries including India, noted how humans have already severely altered 75% of land surface, 40% of marine environment and 50% of inland waterways, causing damage to the natural world through massive urbanisation, deforestation and agricultural intensification.

The report identified changes in land and sea use as the biggest culprit, followed by direct exploitation of organisms; climate change; pollution and invasive alien species (from one habitat to another habitat). More than 2,500 conflicts over fossil fuels, water, food and land, currently occurring worldwide, are attributed to pressure on natural resources.

Though the report has not pin-pointed any country-specific damage, it assessed various findings which spoke in details about such damage in biodiversity hotspots even in India such as its Himalayan region, Indus Basin, Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta and Western Ghats among others. Its details are expected to be published later this year. Read more

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