A quarter of “very threatened” species: “The situation is not very positive”, warns the French president of the IUCN

with a quarter of the money “very threatened”, “the situation is not very positive”, said Maud Lelièvre, chair of the French committee of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Saturday, September 4 on franceinfo. She spoke a few hours before the publication of the “red list” of endangered species at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Marseille. Maud Lelievre describes“historic discovery” Emmanuel Macron’s announcement to classify 5% of the Mediterranean maritime area as “strong protection”.

franceinfo: This Saturday you are releasing the “red list” of endangered species biodiversity that you publish each year. Does the biodiversity situation continue to deteriorate?

Maud Lelievre: Unfortunately, the situation is not very positive. To put it simply, the “red list” is the most complete species conservation inventory. In the last survey, prior to the one we are publishing today, it was found that of the 134,000 species studied, at least 37,000 were classified as “very threatened”. Today we have 41% of amphibians, 14% of birds, 26% of mammals threatened with global extinction and we have the same variation at the French level. This is particularly important because France is among the countries that host the highest number of endangered species, in particular because of its presence abroad.

What are the main causes that threaten the species?

The biggest threats are those pointed out by the President of the Republic: deforestation, artificialization, pesticides, plastic pollution in the oceans. The causes are known, we must now act on these causes.

The French President announced, at the opening of his congress, that he wants to multiply by 25 the maritime protected areas of the French Mediterranean. Could this change anything for biodiversity at sea?

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For us, this is a historic advance. We are also publishing a report on areas of strong protection at sea, this announcement meets our demands and needs to have an active policy in terms of preservation, particularly in the Mediterranean, which is one of the important themes of this congress. Protected areas are effective and absolutely necessary, all classifications are progress. In addition, in France, there have been recent classifications, such as the Glorieuses nature reserve or the Mayotte forest nature reserves. Each time, whether on land or at sea, the rankings advance in the preservation of biodiversity.

You are also publishing a “green list” for the first time this year. What is this about?

The “green list” refers to classified sites. France is a leader in the field, as 22 sites are ranked on the “green list” in our country, out of 59 worldwide. France will receive this labeling during the congress on Monday night.

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