BONN, Germany, May 29 (UPI) -- Loss of biodiversity threatens the environment and economic development, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said at a biodiversity meeting in Germany.
Even though more than 12 percent of land now is in protected areas, the speed of response has not kept pace with the scale of degradation, Ban said in a release.
"Nature's assets underpin the very lives and livelihoods of more than 6 billion people. They make our very existence possible in the vacuum of space," Ban said in a remarks delivered during a biological diversity conference in Bonn, Germany.
Inaction would jeopardize progress in reaching the Millennium Development Goals, eight anti-poverty targets scheduled to be reached by 2015, and affect the world, the United Nations leader said.
"Now the economics are coming to the fore, underlining the costs of degradation but also the abundant returns if we invest in this bottom green line," Ban said.