Humanity is waging an unprecedented war on nature, says the UN secretary-general.

Iran PressAmerica: Humanity is facing a new war, unprecedented in history, the Secretary-General of the UN António Guterres has warned, which is in danger of destroying our future before we have fully understood the risk.

The stark message from Guterres follows a year of global upheaval, with the coronavirus pandemic causing governments to shut down whole countries for months at a time, while wildfires, hurricanes and powerful storms have scarred the globe, The Guardian reported.

Guterres said: “Humanity is waging war on nature. This is suicidal. Nature always strikes back – and it is already doing so with growing force and fury. Biodiversity is collapsing. One million species are at risk of extinction. Ecosystems are disappearing before our eyes … Human activities are at the root of our descent toward chaos. But that means human action can help to solve it.”

He listed the human-inflicted wounds on the natural world: the spread of deserts; wetlands lost; forests cut down; oceans overfished and choked with plastic; dying coral reefs; air pollution killing 9 million people a year, more than the current pandemic; and the fact that 75% of new and emerging human infectious diseases have, like COVID-19, come from animals.

Though Guterres, like his two predecessors, has frequently spoken on the dangers of the climate crisis, this was his strongest language yet. The UN was founded 75 years ago at the end of the second world war to try to promote world peace after two devastating global conflicts. Guterres made a deliberate invocation of that original mission, applying it to the climate and biodiversity crises.

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