Green Pulse Podcast: How humans are exploiting wild plants and animals - IPBES report

A fisherman takes out a large Pirarucu (Arapaima gigas) from the water at the Piagacu-Purus Sustainable Development Reserve in Amazonas State, Brazil. PHOTO: AFP

Synopsis: Every first and third Monday of the month, The Straits Times analyses the beat of the changing environment, from biodiversity conservation to climate change.

A recent report shows mankind is far more dependent on nature than many believe. For example, humanity uses about 50,000 wild, non-farmed, species for food, medicines, wood and fuel and even tourism. This includes more than 10,000 wild species harvested directly for human food.

The report from the United Nations’ science advisory panel for biodiversity, known as IPBES, which was released in early July, found that 70 per cent of the world’s poor are directly dependent on wild species. And one in five people rely on wild plants, algae and fungi for their food and income. And yet over-exploitation, including the illegal trade of animals and plants, is endangering nature and threatening the lives of billions of people.

In this episode, The Straits Times’ environment correspondent Audrey Tan and climate change editor David Fogarty discuss the importance of wild species with report co-chair Dr Marla Emery, a research geographer with the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research.

Highlights (click/tap above):

1:53 Why are wild plants and animals important to humans? 

4:54 What are some threats that wild species face? 

9:29 How are the various threats to nature interacting with one another? 

10:42 How can species be used sustainably? 

16:17 What are steps that mankind can take to ensure sustainable use of species?

Produced by: Audrey Tan (, David Fogarty (, Ernest Luis and Hadyu Rahim

Edited by: Hadyu Rahim

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