World’s genetic diversity going, going…..
February 17, 2008
- According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, about 75 per cent of the genetic diversity of agricultural crops has already been lost in the last century.
- Almost 96% of the commercial vegetable varieties available in 1903 are now extinct.
- Today only 150 plant species are cultivated, 12 of which provide approximately 75 percent of our food and four of which produce over half of the food we eat.
- Between 10% and 30% of mammal, bird, and amphibian species are currently threatened with extinction (medium to high certainty), based on IUCN–World Conservation Union criteria for threats of extinction.
- Over the past few hundred years, it is estimated that humans have been responsible for up to a thousand times more extinctions than the natural rate.