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Quantifying and categorising national extinction-risk footprints

Biodiversity, essential to delivering the ecosystem services that support humanity, is under threat. Projections show that loss of biodiversity, specifically increases in species extinction, is likely to continue without significant intervention. Human activity is the principal driver of this loss, generating direct threats such as habitat loss and indirect threats such as climate change. Often, these threats are induced by consumption of products and services in locations far-removed from the affected species, creating a geographical displacement between cause and effect. Here we quantify and categorise extinction-risk footprints for 188 countries. Seventy-six countries are net importers of extinction-risk footprint, 16 countries are net exporters of extinction-risk footprint, and in 96 countries domestic consumption is the largest contributor to the extinction-risk footprint. These profiles provide insight into the underlying sources of consumption which contribute to species extinction risk, a valuable input to the formulation of interventions aimed at transforming humanity’s interactions with biodiversity.

Figure 1. Category of extinction-risk footprint by country. Each of the 188 countries in scope is colour-coded according to which of the imported, exported, or domestic footprints has the highest value in that country. Net importers (orange) primarily drive extinction-risk footprint in other countries, the extinction-risk footprint for net exporters (green) is primarily driven by consumption in other countries, and consumption within the country primarily drives extinction-risk footprint for domestic countries (blue). Te darker the colour, the higher the corresponding footprint value (imported extinction-risk footprint for countries colour-coded orange, exported extinction-risk footprint for countries colour-coded green, and domestic extinction-risk footprint for countries colour-coded blue). (Generated using Microsof PowerPoint sof-365/powerpoint).

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