UN - Ecosystems at tipping point

"Natural systems that support economies, lives and livelihoods across the planet are at risk of rapid degradation and collapse, unless there is swift, radical and creative action to conserve and sustainably use the variety of life on Earth," according to the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity.

This 3rd annual report was just released today and identifies three major ecosystems in crisis:

  1. The dieback of large areas of the Amazon forest, due to the interactions of climate change, deforestation and fires.
  2. The shift of many freshwater lakes and other inland water bodies to eutrophic or algae-dominated states, caused by the buildup of nutrients and leading to widespread fish kills and loss of recreational amenities.
  3. Multiple collapses of coral reef ecosystems, due to a combination of ocean acidification, warmer water leading to bleaching, overfishing and nutrient pollution.

The use of pesticides and fertilizers on urban, suburban and rural land is directly related to the problems in the latter two ecosystem. See Introduction to OLC for information on how you can make a positive difference to these ecosystems using your very own yard.