“From hunting, fishing and logging to the extraction of oil, gas, coal and water, humanity’s insatiable appetite for the planet’s resources has devastated large parts of the natural world.” But the specific example it goes on to give for this factor is groundwater extraction!
This is completely misleading, as groundwater extraction does not even rate a mention in the summary assessment under ‘direct exploitation’ in the IPBES report. What the IPBES report highlights is the ‘direct exploitation, in particular overexploitation, of animals, plants and other organisms, mainly via harvesting, logging, hunting and fishing’. The vast majority of this ‘biomass extraction’ goes towards international trade, not domestic consumption.
While extraction of groundwater is a huge issue in itself, when it comes to the ‘main drivers’ of biodiversity loss what the article manages to do is to conjure up a fringe issue. By accident or design, this clinically sidesteps the main problem, which is the legal trade.
The second critical event to lay bare the risks of the legal trade in exotic and endangered species is of course the global pandemic. But when future historians research how the MSM covered the issue for the public, the stories that will be absent are those showing the root cause of the pandemic was the legal trade in endangered and exotic species. If it wasn’t the legal trade, then why did China not only shut down all ‘wet’ markets selling exotic live animals but also its massive captive breeding industry? An industry that has provided the ‘raw materials’ for not only food but also fashion.
We are over 18 months into the COVID19 pandemic, and yet there is still very little coverage of the legal trade in endangered and exotic species in the mainstream media. In spite of the global pandemic being the top news story over this time, the zoonotic origin is rarely linked to the legal wildlife trade. As with climate change, businesses, industries and governments need to be held to account, and exposed, for the lack of progress in tackling biodiversity loss due to trade. This US$350billion trade is decimating the world’s remaining wildlife and putting human lives at risk.
Nature Needs More has covered the link between the legal wildlife trade and COVID 19 in our three news channels: