Biodiversity crisis summit kicks off in Colombia

A comprehensive, global appraisal of mass species extinction — and what can be done to reverse it — kicked off in Colombia’s second-largest city Saturday, with more than 750 experts in attendance.

President Juan Manuel Santos opened the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) meeting in Medellin by stating that protecting biodiversity is “as important as fighting climate change.”

Hundreds of scientists and government envoys are gathering at the event, which runs through March 26, to finalize details on five monumental reports designed to inform global policymaking into the future.

“Today the world is at a crossroads,” added IPBES president Sir Robert Watson.

“The historic and current degradation and destruction of nature undermine human well being for current and countless future generations.”

Compiled over the last three years, the reports will provide the most up- to-date picture of the health of the world’s plants, animals and soil.

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