30% of Earth’s Tree Species Nearly Extinct

30% of Earth’s Tree Species Nearly Extinct

By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer   A new assessment found that at least 30% of the world’s 60,000 tree species are nearing extinction in the wild. The number of tree species threatened— 17,500— is twice that of threatened mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles combined.  Why this Matters: Trees are crucial to maintaining the earth’s ecosystems. Trees not […]

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Putting a dollar value on nature will give governments and businesses more reasons to protect it

Putting a dollar value on nature will give governments and businesses more reasons to protect it

By Linda Bilmes, co-author of Valuing U.S. National Parks and Programs: America’s Best Investment President Joe Biden calls climate change “the existential crisis of our time” and has taken steps to curb it that match those words. They include returning the U.S. to the Paris Agreement; creating a new climate Cabinet position; introducing a plan to slash fossil fuel […]

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Meet the “Pizzly Bear,” a Polar/Grizzly Hybrid Moving in Next Door

Meet the “Pizzly Bear,” a Polar/Grizzly Hybrid Moving in Next Door

As the earth grows warmer, some of its cold-weather creatures are struggling to survive, and in response, nature is showing us what it does best: adapting. The “pizzly bear,” which won out over the name “grolar bear,” is a polar bear/grizzly bear hybrid becoming more and more common in Canada. 

Why This Matters: The polar bear may be the next victim of the ongoing biodiversity crisis.

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Champion for Nature, Biodiversity and Conserving #30×30: Elizabeth Mrema

Champion for Nature, Biodiversity and Conserving #30×30: Elizabeth Mrema

Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, a lifelong diplomat from the United Republic of Tanzania, in late 2019 assumed the role of Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), in the countdown to the Convention’s 2020 Conference of the Parties with the potential for the sixth wave of mass extinctions hanging in the balance.

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Top Ten Stories of 2020: Biodiversity Crisis Is Recognized, Movement for #30×30 Is Growing click button

Top Ten Stories of 2020: Biodiversity Crisis Is Recognized, Movement for #30×30 Is Growing

This year was supposed to be a big one for biodiversity with the Conference of the Parties for the Conference on Biodiversity meeting in the fall in China, of all places, and then the pandemic struck and pushed the meeting back by a year.  Nevertheless, the evidence of the importance of conserving nature and ensuring we do not experience a mass extinction crisis became even clearer, especially when compounded with warming across the planet.

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Trump Rolls Back Endangered Species Protections (Again)

Trump Rolls Back Endangered Species Protections (Again)

This week, the Trump administration adopted a new rule that narrows the definition of what qualifies as a habitat under the Endangered Species Act. The new definition only allows “critical habitat” for plants and animals at risk to be protected under the Act.

Why This Matters: By slicing away at the places that the Endangered Species Act applies, more activities that further degrade the habitat will likely be able to proceed.

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