In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.

Charles Darwin

oman east of wadi sayqAccurately estimating the number of different species on earth has been an impossible task for many scientists. Estimates currently range from 10-100 million different species, the majority of which we have yet to discover. There is no doubt that since the dawn of the Anthropocene the earth’s biodiversity has been in decline, but it is not limited to increased rates of species extinction, but also includes the loss of genetic and functional diversity across population, community, ecosystem, landscape and global scales. This decline in biodiversity is due to a broad range of human activities such as habitat modification and destruction, increased rates of introduced non-native species, over exploitation, pollution and other such threats. Even at the lowest estimated rate of extinction about half of all species could be extinct within 100 years and such an event would be similar in magnitude to the five mass extinctions in the 3.5 billion years of earth’s existence. Humankind’s survival depends on the healthy functioning of our planet, from chemical processes in our seas to provision of materials from terrestrial realms.

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