The finding is disturbing and unequivocal: two-thirds of wildlife has disappeared in less than 50 years. This shocking statement from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) sends an alarm signal that mainly involves human activity. We are talking about 4,000 species of vertebrates, divided into 21,000 animal populations around the world which have disappeared following the destruction of their natural habitat, especially for agriculture.
Around the world, scientists are watching for warning signs of a sixth extinction, said to be the most devastating since the fall of the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs. Already a million species are threatened and the pace continues to increase. Unless there is a drastic change in the pattern of human consumption, nature will continue its deep decline:
“In an unprecedented report released on Monday, the UN Biodiversity Expert Group (IPBES) paints a grim picture of the future of humans, who depend on nature to breathe, drink, eat, heat or heal. Deforestation, intensive agriculture, overfishing, rampant urbanization, mines: 75 % of the terrestrial environment has been seriously affected by human activities and 66 % of the marine environment is also affected. "Radio-Canada, May 6, 2019
This sixth announced extinction is the first which is directly related to the habits of humans. It is also the first that could be stopped if concrete and lasting actions are taken quickly. A study published in the journal Nature entitled “Inflecting the curve” models a series of possible action scenarios, to preserve nature or species, but also to reduce the footprint of agricultural production or human consumption, in particular of products from animal husbandry:
"The most ambitious, which combines all these interventions, allows us to estimate that it is possible to reverse the decline of biodiversity by 2050," explains David Leclère, researcher at the International institute for applied system analysis (IIASA ) and lead author of the study. "La Presse, September 9, 2020
"It is not too late to act, but only if we start doing it now, by effecting transformative change in our society to slow down the drivers of biodiversity loss which threatens humans at least as much as climate change. , also believes Robert Watson. "Radio-Canada, May 6, 2019
“There are solutions to be able to protect our biodiversity and take the right fork for the future of humanity. One of these solutions is to create protected areas, to increase the percentage of the surface areas of our habitats that are protected, adds specialist Alain Branchaud. "VAT news, July 12, 2017
Here is a list of items on anything related to the sixth mass extinction. We suggest that students choose one that appeals to them and produce a mental map on Popplet, for example, to highlight the important elements. They could also decide to create a sketchnote to summarize the article and thus make their thinking visible. To do this, they can use Tayasui Sketches.
Disciplines and levels targeted
Science (lower secondary)
- living universe
Targeted dimensions of digital competence
- Collaborate digitally
- Developing and mobilizing information literacy
- Producing content with digital
Suggested digital tools
- RWT Timeline
- Can go
Educational intention of the guide
The following activities will help to better understand the sixth mass extinction and endangered species, but also the positive role that humans can play in the preservation of nature.
Objectives of the activities
- Know the current situation of threats to living beings.
- Explain what the sixth mass extinction is.
- Bring solutions to the causes of the sixth extinction.
- Discover species on the “red list”.
- Become familiar with previous periods of mass extinction of species.
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