UN to launch global scientific panel on biodiversity

UN members took a key step on Thursday towards creating a scientific panel on biodiversity similar to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Nobel-winning group that helped drive climate change to the top of the global agenda, agencies reported.

More than 6,000 representatives from 191 countries are meeting in Bonn this week to try to hammer out a road map for saving Earth’s vanishing flora and fauna, much of it in tropical rainforests and the sea.

Green group WWF welcomed a major report released at the conference, Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB), which they described in a statement as "long overdue recognition of biodiversity as a key development issue."

The report has been likened to the Stern review, which transformed the climate-change debate by clearly outlining adverse consequences to the world economy.

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