The WBGU fears that current rates of human-induced biodiversity loss will cause severe environmental damage. Shrinking wild gene pools put food production at risk and the destruction of ecosystems undermines the general functioning of the "earth system," putting the world's climate also in danger, it says.
The group calls for development of existing nature reserve systems into a global, interconnected network covering 10-20% of the earth's land surface. It estimates that this would cost euros 25.6bn (DM50bn). About a quarter of this has already been spent, so financing the remainder should not be an impossible task, the group says.
WBGU accepts that Germany is already involved in international biosphere protection, but calls for a new interministerial working group on national biodiversity policy to implement commitments on conservation and sustainable use policies defined in the 1992 UN biodiversity convention (ENDS Daily 7 May 1998).
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