Moving to mostly vegetarian diets will be crucial to save the natural world, the UN has warned in a major new report.
Plant and animal species around the world continue to be lost at unprecedented rates because of human activity, according to a new report that says none of 20 biodiversity goals set ten years ago have been achieved.
Cutting meat consumption would reduce the destruction of forests and other lands, as well as cutting greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.
In its five year report on the Aichi biodiversity targets in 2015, the UN merely advocated a reduction in meat consumption, but it has now joined calls for people to embrace a mostly plant-based diet.
It comes days after the WWF warned that reversing a 68 per cent average drop in global wildlife species since 1970 would only be possible if global meat consumption was cut in half.
Of 20 biodiversity goals set out by the UN and agreed to in 2011 by almost 200 countries, none have been fully achieved and just six have been partially achieved, the fifth Global Biodiversity Outlook said.
The targets include reducing the destruction of rainforests and mangroves, cutting pollution and sustainably managing fisheries. But even the target of raising awareness of species loss has not been fully achieved.
But the report offers a note of optimism, saying that extinctions would have been two to four times higher without conservation actions over the past decade.
“Humanity stands at a crossroads with regard to the legacy it leaves to future generations,” the report says.