Life on Earth originated around 4 billion years ago. While it initially existed only in the oceans, it later spread to the land and atmosphere. Since then, an unfathomable number of species have evolved, around half of which are insects. Numerous plant and animal species have yet to be documented, and many new ones are being discovered every day.

While we are only just beginning to understand the web of interdependencies between organisms, humans are jeopardizing our planet’s highly complex ecosystems and their inhabitants by clearing forests, overfishing the oceans and overfertilizing agricultural land. Air pollution and increasing levels of acidity in the oceans are having profound consequences.

The pace of extinction has accelerated to the point that species are vanishing before we even have a chance to discover them. Find out more here.

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Pangolin in a cage at the Riau Natural Resource Conservation Centre, Indonesia Captive pangolin (© Arief Budi Kusuma/

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Shut down wildlife markets NOW!

With their brisk trade in endangered and poached animals, wildlife markets in many countries are driving the extinction of species. The markets are also breeding grounds for diseases that can also be deadly to humans. There is no excuse for the existence of these markets – it’s time to shut them down NOW.

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To: the President of the People’s Republic of China and host of the UNCBD Conference, Xi Jinping; Elizabeth Maruma Mrema (UNCBD); Member States of the UN

“Wildlife markets encourage the poaching of endangered species and facilitate the spread of diseases. It’s time to shut them down.”

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