Humanity under threat as planet faces sixth wave of extinction - UN report

Details of a major United Nations report that provides evidence the planet is facing a sixth wave of extinction have been leaked.

The draft report - compiled by some of the world's leading scientists - says that up to one million species are at risk of extinction, many within decades, according to The Guardian.

The UN's leading research body on nature, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), concludes that humanity and wildlife's futures are at risk unless urgent action is taken to curb the loss of plants, insects and other vital parts of the planet's life cycle.

"There is no question we are losing biodiversity at a truly unsustainable rate that will affect human wellbeing both for current and future generations," the chair of IPBES, Robert Watson, told The Guardian. "We are in trouble if we don't act, but there are a range of actions that can be taken to protect nature and meet human goals for health and development."

The leaked details show the report is expected to provide evidence the planet is facing its first human-driven wave of extinction.

Greenpeace executive director Dr Russel Norman is suggesting the New Zealand government declare a climate emergency to tackle the effects of human-driven climate change.

"We need to ban synthetic nitrogen fertiliser, which drives the dairy intensification that pollutes our climate and our rivers. We also have to dramatically reduce the number of dairy cows in the country, and change land use to less polluting ways of farming," Norman said in a statement last week.

"We have been clearly warned by scientists that we have just 10 years to halve emissions in order to avoid climate breakdown that will cause dramatic rates of extinction, and the displacement and death of tens of millions of people."

Similarly, the National Iwi Chairs Forum released a statement on Monday saying Maori should act as leaders in the fight against climate change and urged the government to plan the country's future accordingly.

"Our future society is under construction right now, with the imperative need of all communities, companies, civil society and global citizenry to shift from fossil fuel based economies as quickly as we can," chair of the Iwi Leaders Group, Mike Smith, said.

School strike founder Greta Thunburg recently questioned the actions of media and governments when it came to climate change on Twitter asking "Where are the headlines? Where are the emergency meetings?"

The full UN report is expected to be released on Tuesday and will outline the ways governments, businesses and individuals can take action to reverse the loss of biodiversity on our planet.