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The death of life: the horror of extinction

30 November, 2009

Seán McDonagh passionate book is a plea for action before it is too late to save the 11,000 species currently under threat of extinction in mangrove forests and coral reefs across the world. He presents the various issues of biodiversity from ecological, theological and church perspectives in very persuasive terms.

152pp. Columba Press 2004. To purchase this book online, go to www.columba.ie


List of Abbreviations

Chapter 1  Introduction
Chapter 2  Conversion in the T’boli Hills
Chapter 3  An Adequate Creation Theology
Chapter 4  Theology Forgot Creation
Chapter 5  Theological Reflections
Chapter 6  The Need for an Approptiate Ethical Framework
Chapter 7 Called to Live Lightly on the Earth


Seán McDonagh’s book is a plea for action before it is too late to save the millions of species currently under threat of extinction across the world. He presents the various issues of biodiversity from ecological, theological and church perspectives. The author considers the many habitats under threat of destruction, such as coral reefs and mangrove forests, as well as the different types of species threatened. He looks at the position of the church on these issues and especially the work of Fr Thomas Berry.

He follows the historical relationship between the Church and nature from the Fathers of the Church to the present time. The final section is one of hope, looking at how different organisations and cultures might proceed in order to preserve biodiversity and save the many habitats and species currently under threat. This is a life or death book for many species and vital to every human being to read.



We are distant cousins to the stars and near relatives to the oceans, plants, and all living creatures on our planet.
– Sally McFague, The Body of God, page 104.

My interest in trees and forests really blossomed during the twelve years I spent living with the T’boli people in South Cotabato in the Philippines. The T’boli are a tribal people who live in the diphterocarp forests of Mindanao. There are six kinds of tropical forests in the Philippines – the mangrove forests along the coasts, the beach forests, the molave forests, the diphterocarp forests found in the Cordilleras, Mindoro and Zambales, the Pine forests in higher ground in Luzon, and the mossy forest found above an altitude of 1,000 metres. (1)

The rainforests are a world of beauty, colour, enchantment and fruitfulness. Though they cover only 6% of the land area of the world, at least half and possibly as much as 80% of the world’s species live in the rainforests of the world. Many of the drugs found in chemist shops owe their origin to rainforest plants or animals. Unfortunately this has not spared them from the bulldozers and chain-saws of global timber corporations. Between 1990 and 2000 the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAa) estimated that more than 150 million hectares of tropical forests were converted to other uses. This is about the size of Mexico. (2)  At present rates of destruction from logging and burning all the tropical forests of the earth could be gone in 50 to 70 years.

Within a few months of arriving in the T’boli hills, I realised how important the forest was in the life of this tribal people. It provided them with building material for their houses and food for them to eat. In the forest they found plants, animals and reptiles that provided them with cures for many diseases. But beyond meeting bodily needs, much of their music, dance, poetry and arts were centred on themes and sounds from the forest. Finally, the forest featured prominently in their religious traditions and rituals.

It became clear to me that, unless the remaining area of the forest was protected, the T’boli, and other tribal groups who lived in the area, would have no future within a period of 30 or 40 years. So one of the major goals of my missionary work for the next 12 years was to help them protect what was left of the forest and replant native species wherever it was possible. That meant learning as much as I could about the rich life of the rainforest from T’bolis themselves and biologists and botanists who were studying the forests. In the T’boli hills I had first-hand experience of some of the processes that cause extinction.

Our ignorance about the number of species on the planet
Before going on to look at how humans are causing the extinction of species, it might help to give some idea of how many species there are on the planet today. Despite all the advances in the various disciplines in science, to our shame, we humans have no idea how many species share this planet with us. There is no central database on the planet which lists the number of species. We are particularly ignorant of species living in the oceans. A total of 210,000 species of marine animals and plants are known to science. The true number could be close to 2 million. Recently, in an area off New Caledonia in the South Pacific, marine scientists found 130,000 mollusks belonging to 3,000 species in just three cubic metres of coral reef. (3)

The English zoologist Colin Tudge remarks that we know more about the stars than about our companion species on earth. (4) The inventory at Kew Gardens outside London, one of the best in the world, lists about 1.7 million species. But Tudge argues that this falls short of the true figure by a factor of 10 or maybe even 100. (5) He recounts Terry Erwin’s research in Panama where he anaesthetised and counted the species of beetles found in a single tree in Panama. The figure ran to almost 20,000 and the unknown species far outnumbered the known ones. On the basis of this data Erwin suggested that there might be 30 million species on the planet – most of them insects. Tudge comments that, while some biologists consider Erwin’s figure of 30 million to be a gross exaggeration, others argue that it is too conservative and would prefer to put the figure at around 100 million.

Many of these species are nematodes, mites and microbes. The known inventory of microbes both bacterial and archaeal species stands at around 40,000. But this may only be a small percentage of the total number. Tudge feels that this gross ignorance about our living world should humble us humans into the clear recognition of the fact that our grasp of ‘biodiversity’ is tenuous indeed. And that only accounts for creatures that are living on the planet with us now. If we include all the creatures that have lived on the planet since life emerged 3.8 billion years ago, the number of living creatures reaches dizzy heights. (6) The tragedy is that we are wiping out a significant percentage of these creatures – small and large – before we even have recognised their presence with us on our shared planet.

Given the caveat about our knowledge of the number of species on the planet, it is now estimated that 24% of large animals, 30% of the known 25,000 fish species, 12% of the 10,000 bird species are now in danger of extinction. Other endangered species are well-known and closely related to humankind. Time magazine (31 January 2000) estimates that many of our close cousins among primates are on the brink of extinction. These include orangutans, mountain gorillas, golden bamboo lemur and Hainan gibbons. The growing trade in bush meat in Africa is decimating the remaining populations of gorillas, chimpanzees and other primates (7)

Big game hunters have decimated the rhino population. Today fewer than 12,000 survive in Africa and Asia. The demand for ivory has led to a precipitous decline in the African rhino from 2 million in 1970 to under 500,000 today. Tigers are also facing extinction. In 1996 it was estimated that the wild population was between 4,600 and 7,200. The largest cat in the world, the Siberian tiger, is down to a mere 200 individuals. (8)

While researching this book I was surprised to find that one creature – a species of giant guinea pig called capybara – was facing extinction as a direct result of Catholic faith and practice. This creature is found in Venezuela and is a particular favourite during the period of Lent. During colonial times, the Holy See ruled that this semi-aquatic mammal was a fish and therefore could be eaten during Lent when Catholics were required to abstain from eating meat. The demand for the capybara has been so great in recent times that Dr Edgar Useche, who advises Venezuela’s National Assembly, says that the species could now face extinction. (9)

As the extinction of one species has a knock-on effect on at least 16 other species, this projected level of extinction is an extraordinary blow to the global web of life. (10) No wonder an article in Time magazine in 2000 concluded with a very pertinent question: ‘How long will Earth be a hospitable place for humanity when it is no longer a fit home for our next of kin?’ (11)

Human activity is causing extinction in three ways:

* Habitat destruction.
* The introduction of alien, exotic species into an ecosystem.
* And, finally, human-created pollution.

In the following pages I will look briefly at how each one of these factors is impoverishing our planet.

Habitat Destruction
Let us take habitat destruction first. I very quickly became aware of the massive destruction of species in South Cotabato in the Philippines. The Philippines is one of only 17 countries on earth that are rich in biodiversity. More than 52,177 species have been described. Half of these are found nowhere else on earth. According to the Philippine Biodiversity Conservation Priorities, ‘the Philippines is one of the few countries in the world that is both a megadiversity country and a biodiversity hotspot.’ (12) The document goes on to say that there ‘is a small window of opportunity in which it is still possible to save this global hotspot from complete devastation and the unique life forms found within from extinction.’ (13)
Tropical forests teem with a rich variety of plants, animals, reptiles, birds, insects and fish species. In a single hectare of rainforest one might find over 100 different species of trees, with countless other species as well. With the destruction of rainforests in Asia, Africa, Central and Latin America and New Guinea, tens of thousands of species have already been lost. (14)

How Philippine forests were felled
At the beginning of the 20th century, 70% of the land area of the Philippines enjoyed forest cover. During the Spanish period the main pressure on the forests came from ship building, the spread of commercial agriculture – abaca, tobacco and sugar cane and cattle ranches. The new US administration took over from the Spanish after a bloody war in 1898 in which almost 200,000 Filipinos were killed. The US colonial administration sought ways to stimulate the Philippine economy. One very lucrative way was to promote commercial logging for export. There was huge demand for Philippine hardwood in the US, Europe and Australia and US logging companies were ready to move in to cut the trees. It was presented as a win-win situation. By 1920, forest cover had shrunk to 60%. Logging increased during the 1930s. Much commercial logging was suspended during World War II but it started immediately after the war. By 1950 forest cover had shrunk to 50%.

The real logging boom took place in the 1960s and 1970s. There was a frenetic effort to clear as much forest as possible in a short period of time. By the 1970s, forest cover was down to 34%. The high point in forest destruction took place between 1977 and 1980. An estimated 300,000 hectares were destroyed each year. Many of the central islands – Cebu, Bohol, Siquirjor, Samar and Camiguin – had been completely denuded. By 1987 only 23% forest cover remained. (15)  In 1999 forest cover was estimated at 5.5 million hectares or 18.3% of the land area. Unfortunately, of this only 800,000 hectares are of primary forest cover. This constitutes only 2.7% of the total land area. (16)

Though the profits from logging were astronomical, they benefited only a few elite families. It is estimated that between 1960 and the late 1970s a mere 480 timber licensees enjoyed a staggering profit of US $42 billion  (17)  Given the enormous amount of money involved, it is easy to understand how much corruption surrounded the forestry business. One statistic illustrates this. Between 1980 and 1982 the Japanese inventories of log imports from the Philippines were 250% above the official Philippines figures. (18)  Securing a logging permit guaranteed a person millions of dollars. Logging benefited US and European transnational logging companies, the Philippine elite, some military officers and other politicians, most of whom were allied to the dictator, Ferdinand Marcos. Japanese companies became involved with Filipino business people in joint ventures in the 1970s and Koreans followed suit in the 1980s.

Hardly a dollar of this huge amount of money was spent improving the lives of tribal people, like the T’boli, right across the Philippines through provision of schools, clinics, agricultural programmes or other livelihood initiatives. Their habitat, which had supported their tribe for over 1,000 years, was plundered and laid to waste.

Another negative consequence of logging was the construction of logging roads into places that, until then, were impregnable to outsiders. The logging roads became arteries for lowland Christian Filipinos from both the island of Luzon and the Visayas to enter into the tribal lands. Within a generation these settlers came to own the best land in the tribal areas through both legal and illegal transactions. The loss of ancestral lands, through a variety of mechanisms, explains why the armed conflict between some Muslims groups and the Philippine government has continued for the past few decades.

Laying waste the forest destroys biodiversity. The Philippine forests were particularly rich in fauna, estimated at about 2 million species many of which are indigenous to the Philippines. (19) This breakdown includes over 20,000 species of plants and 13,000 species of flowering plants. There are 3,000 species of trees, mostly of the diphtercocarpaceae family. In addition there are untold species of mosses, fungi, epiphytes, algae and 556 species of birds. It is known that 43 species of birds are now threatened with extinction, including the world famous Philippine eagle. The destruction of the rainforest in the Philippines has taken a huge toll on these magnificent birds. Even though pockets or small areas of the forest survive, these ‘islands of forests’ are not sufficient to guarantee the survival of the Philippine eagle which requires large areas of woodland in order to live and propagate. Today fewer than 500 birds remain in the wild. With its habitat destroyed, this magnificent bird faces extinction. While living in the mountains of South Cotabato in Mindanao I saw one of the last remaining Philippine eagles. It was a magnificent creature, over three feet tall and a wing span of over five feet. But my delight at seeing it was tinged with sadness, knowing that I was a member of the last generation of human beings that would have the privilege of seeing such splendid birds in the wild. Finally, of the estimated 153 mammal species in the Philippines, 32 are facing extinction. (20)

In addition, the plants, berries, nuts, fish and other creatures found in the rainforest are used as food by the tribal people who live there. The biogeographer Chris Park estimates that there are 75,000 edible plants in the world. Many of these plants found around the globe, especially in rainforests, are highly nutritious and could be added to the larder of a much greater proportion of humankind. At the moment, the vast majority of humans are dependent on only 200 plants and animals for their food. In fact cereals like rice, maize, wheat and rye, and root crops like potatoes, form the staple diet for half of the world’s population. On the meat side of the food chain, a mere 10 species of birds and wild animals provide the genetic material on which 98% of all livestock product is based globally. (21) With rapid extinction, many species may be gone before their food value is discovered. Even for selfish human reasons it is important that the habitat of these plants be protected so that humans can use them for food in the future.

Species from the rainforest are also important in maintaining and improving human health worldwide. Medicines for many diseases are derived from rainforest flora and fauna. For the past three centuries quinine, derived from the Indian name quinaquina, has been used to treat malaria. In recent years the survival rate of children with lymphatic leukaemia has been greatly enhanced by a drug derived from the rose periwinkle. This plant was originally found in the rainforest of Madagascar. Madagascar, because of its geography, is particularly rich in species. In the eastern forests there are 12,000 recorded species of plants and 190,000 known animal species. 60% of the above are found nowhere else on earth. 90% of that forest is now gone. (22)

In his Requiem for the Philippine Forests, Juna Terra lists a number of Philippine medicinal plants found in the forests. Talungpunay (Datura Alba) is used for asthma attacks, duhat (Eugenia jam-bolana) is used for diabetes, sambong (Bluema balsamifera) for high blood pressure and dudua seeds help cure tuberculosis. (23) The possibilities of finding cures for many common illnesses in the flora and fauna of the tropical rainforests are endless.

Because of their long evolutionary journey, there are millions of plants that could conceivably be used as antibiotics, anticancer drugs or painkillers. In June 2001, British scientists reported that they had dramatic success in developing the anticancer drug combretastatin which is made from the bark of an African tree. (24) Less than 1% of the 250,000 tropical plants have been screened for their pharmaceutical potentia1. (25)

It would be sheer lunacy if this rich treasure chest was lost to future generations. A case in point is a frog species found in the Australian rainforest that swallowed her own eggs, incubated them in her stomach and gave birth through her mouth. On examination it was found that this species of frog had the ability to switch off her stomach acids while carrying her young. Discovering how this extraordinary feat was achieved would no doubt help pharmaceutical companies develop effective treatments for people who suffer from stomach complaints. The knowledge which was written in the genes of this creature may never be known as it became extinct in 1980.

It is estimated that over 50% of 150 prescribed drugs, with an economic value of over $80 billion dollars, are derived from discoveries in the wild. Professor Edward Wilson is convinced that ‘it is no exaggeration to say that the search for natural medicine is a race between science and extinction, and will become critically so as more forests fall and coral reefs bleach out and disintegrate. (26)

The destruction of the forest has increased soil erosion. Soil from denuded hillsides is carried down to the sea during monsoon rains or typhoons. The sediment affects everything – rivers, irrigation canals and coral reefs.

The future of the Philippine forests looks very bleak. Large scale logging is no longer going on because, except for the island of Palawan, most of the trees are gone. If there is no concerted effort to protect what is left and to promote reforestation with native species, forest cover will be down to 6% by the year 2010. This will have a massive impact on sustainable agriculture, not alone on the uplands and the people living there, but on all the islands. Upland areas constitute over 56% of the land area of the country. These uplands have slopes of 18 degrees or more. There needs to be more than 40% forest cover in tropical islands like the Philippines in order to facilitate sustainable agriculture, especially in the lowland farms that depend on irrigation. When the trees are cut, flash floods speed down the hills destroying everything in their path. Little water has been stored by trees, other vegetation and the soil, so rivers and irrigation canals dry up during the dry season. The Philippines without the rainforest will be an impoverished environment with more and more soil erosion with each monsoon and typhoon period.

Now that the Philippine forests have been plundered, the logging companies have moved elsewhere. At the moment they are devastating Indonesia, the Amazon, Siberia, Myanmar (Burma) and New Guinea. It cannot continue indefinitely, because we live in a finite planet.

Water Ecosystems
Extinction is not confined to plants and trees. Many species of fish and marine life are also threatened. There are three reasons why fish and other species are disappearing from our oceans. Over-fishing, the destruction of sensitive habitats like coral reefs and mangrove forests, and chemical pollutants are destroying many marine creatures. In 2002 the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations estimated that 75% of the world’s oceanic fisheries were stretched beyond their capacity. In 9 of the 19 world fishing zones, fish catches were above the lower limit of estimated sustainable yield. (27)

According to logbooks in fishing trawlers, some species like the hammerhead have dropped by 89% since 1886. The stocks of blue fin tuna have dropped by 80% in the western Atlantic since the 1960s. Cod, which was once so common in our fish and chip shops, is on the endangered species list. The stocks in both the North Sea and Irish Sea have been decimated. Atlantic halibut has almost disappeared.

Seahorses are also heavily exploited both for aquariums and Chinese medicine. This is a very lucrative trade. Top quality dried seahorses have sold for up to $1,200 per kilogram in Hong Kong. In the late 1990s over 20 million animals were being caught each year. The demand in China has grown during the past few years. The stocks globally cannot sustain such pressure. 36 species of seahorses are under threat at the moment. (28)

There has been a 50% drop in shark numbers in the past 15 years. Blue shark numbers have also dropped by 60%. One of the programmes in the BBC’s Blue Planet series was called ‘Deep Trouble’. The programme was narrated by Martha  Holmes, a marine biologist and member of the David Attenborough team. She concentrated on the damage that humans were doing both to the oceans and to marine ecosystems like coral reefs and mangrove forests.

The programme estimated that about 100 million sharks are being caught each year. These wonderful creatures are being slaughtered, mainly for their fins. Shark fins are worth hundreds of dollars in some Asian countries. (29) They are both a delicacy and a resource for traditional medicine.

The threat to the oceans and creatures living in the oceans is not confined to those living close to the surface. Fishermen can now trawl the bottom of the ocean and catch fish that could not be seen until 20 years ago. They do this in the most destructive way by pulling huge nets along the bottom of the sea and in the process they destroy corals and sponges and everything that has grown on the sea floor for hundreds of years. One New Zealand marine biologist, who was interviewed on the programme, compared modern fishing methods for deep water fish to a farmer who wished to catch a cow by suspending a net from a helicopter and trawling it across his fields. Besides catching the cow he would also capture the car, the dog, a few sheep and his wife. Everything would then be discarded except the cow. That is what happens in much of modern fishing techniques.

Coral Reefs
A number of marine environments are under threat. Coral reefs are the tropical forests of the oceans. There are almost 1,000 coral species found right around the world. Many have developed over hundreds of years and are spectacular in size and architecture. They range from cabbage to moose antlers and mushroom corals. They are replete with an extraordinary array of marine life. Coral reefs account for 25% of the total fish catch in many Third World countries. In Asia alone corals provide sea food for about one billion people. The wonderful structure of the corals provides animals and fish with a safe habitat in which to breed and to feed. They also protect mangroves and sea grass beds which also act as nurseries for fish and shellfish. Philippine coral fauna is one of the richest in the world, with over 430 species. Recently, for example, a new species of coral belonging to the genus leptoseris was discovered in the Kalayaan Islands.  (30)

During my 20 years in the Philippines in the 1970s and 1980s I spent many hours snorkelling around reefs. I came to love the magic of coral reefs, their magnificent shapes and the pastel colours of the reef fish as they dash in and out of the coral cover. Corals are truly a wonderland which leave Disneyland, with all its gadgetry, in the shade. It is estimated that 60% of reef-associated fish are found in the Philippines. Once again it is a place of extraordinary riches in biodiversity.  (31)
Luxury fish like groupers and humphead rass are being sought in coral reefs around the globe. Regrettably they are being fished out at an unsustainable level. Martha Holmes discovered that 30,000 tonnes of reef fish pass through Hong Kong each year. As stocks in reefs in nearby countries are depleted, fishing boats have to seek out new coral reefs, often 3,000 miles away. Marine biologists are worried that much of the catch is now composed of juveniles. One does not need to be a marine biologist to realise that when the bulk of the global catch are juveniles, the end is in sight for that species. Harvesting fish at a critical point in the life cycle before they can reproduce jeopardises the future of the species. It is killing the goose that lays the golden egg!

A 1997 study on coral reefs co-ordinated by the University of Hong Kong found that coral reefs around the world are in a lamentable state. Researchers checked 300 reefs in 30 countries and found that a mere 32% of the reefs had living corals. This means that 68% were barren or seriously degraded. The Caribbean had the lowest rate of living corals at 22%. South East Asia was just a little better off with 30% living cover. Marine scientist Edgardo Gomez of the University of the Philippines estimates that 90% of the Philippines’ 34,000 sq km of reefs are dead or deteriorating. (32)

I witnessed the widespread disappearance of corals through siltation from deforestation and monocrop industrial agriculture during the 1970s and 1980s. Corals live in symbiotic relationship with zooxanthellae that depend on sunlight for photosynthesis. The silt washed down from the hills and mountains as a result of deforestation interferes with photosynthesis and as a result the corals die.

Walking along beaches in the province of Misamis Occidental I often heard a loud clap as dynamite was used to stun and kill fish. In some ways it is an efficient way of catching fish today. But it ensures that there will be no fish tomorrow, and a single blast can wipe out a patch of coral and destroy something that has been building up for decades. Dynamiting can also take its toll on the fishermen. The fisherman needs to be very dextrous in lighting the fuse and timing to the moment when he throws the bottle with the dynamite into the water. If he throws too soon the wick will quench. There is very little margin for error and unfortunately many lose a hand as the bottle with the dynamite blows up in their hands. On the beaches of Misamis Occidental I met many men who had lost one hand and a few who had lost both. I was very aware that many of these people took what appears to us as a foolhardy decision, because they were living in dire poverty and needed food immediately.

Cyanide is also used to stun fish, especially for the aquarium trade to First WorId countries. When cyanide is squirted into crevices in the reef the fish that rush out in search of oxygen are easily caught. The fish do not die immediately but their internal organs begin to collapse. By this time unscrupulous merchants have sold off the aquarium fish to buyers in Europe, Japan or the US. Within a few weeks the fish die but the aquarium owner may feel that their death was due to natural causes or was caused by faults in their fish tank. The corals themselves also die after being sprayed with the poison. Within a few weeks a fertile and beautiful ecosystem disintegrates and is covered with algae.

Cold water corrals are far more numerous than previously thought. These are found in many parts of the world at depths between 3,000 and 12,000 feet, including on the continental shelf off the coast of Ireland. These are being destroyed by bottom dredging trawlers that use heavy chains, steel plates and nets. Klaus Toepfer, the executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), has called for international agreements to protect these fragile, and little understood, ecosystems from destruction. (33)

1. Decline of Philippine Forests, Environmental Science for Social Change, Inc., IIF Manila Observatory Bldg, Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City, Philippines.
2. Donella Meadows, Jorgen Randers, Dennis Meadow, Limits to Growth: The 34-Year Update, Chelsea Green Publishing Company, Vermont, 2004, page 76.
3. Steve Connor, ‘Scientists discover 500 species of fish in a billion-dollar trawl of the world’s oceans’, The Independent, 24 October 2003, page 1.
4. Colin Tudge, The Variety of Life, A Survey and Celebration of All the Creatures that have ever lived, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2000, page 7.
5. Ibid., pages 6 and 7.
6. Ibid., pages 8 and 9.
7. ‘Now, It’s Not Personal! But like it or not, meat-eating is becoming a problem for everyone on the planet’, editors, World-Watch, July / August
2004, page 19. .
8. McGreal, Chris, ‘Lions face new threat; the’re rich, American and they’ve got guns’, The Guardian, 27 April200(page 3.
9. Notebook, ‘Fishy Meat’, The Tablet, 12 April 2003, page 13.
10. Donella Meadows, Jorgen Randers, Dennis Meadows, op.cit., page 85. 11. Charles, P. Alexander, ‘Death Row’, Time, 31 Jan 2000, pages 62-65.
12. Philippine Biodiversity Conservation Priorities: National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, Executive Summary, Department of the Environment and Natural Resources, Quezon Avenue, 1101 Quezon City, Philippines, 2002.
13. Ibid.
14. Janet N. Abramovitz, April 1998, ‘Taking a Stand: Cultivating a New Relationship with the World’s Forests’, WorldWatch Paper 140, page 5.
15. Decline of the Philippine Forests, op. cit., page:,16.
16. Ibid., page 22.
17. Ibid., page 18.
18. Ibid., page 16.
19. Ibid., pages 21-22.
20. John Tuxill, ‘Losing Strands in the Web of Life’, WorldWatch, May 1998, page 41.
21. Belden C. Lane, ‘Biodiversity and the Holy Trinity’, America, 17 December 2001, pages 7-11.
22. Donella Meadows, Jorgen Randers, Dennis Meadows, op. cit., page 85.
23. June Terra, ‘A requiem for the Philippine forests’, unpublished, 1989, Nature, Kensington Gardens Square, London, W24BG.
24. Meek, James, ‘Cancer drug made from bark’, The Guardian, 15 June 200l.
25. Tim Radford, ‘Species struggle as humans grab resources’, The Guardian, 2 August 2002, page 7.
26. Edward O. Wilson, op. cit., page 123.
27. Donella Meadows, Jorgen Randers, Dennis Meadows, op. cit., page 231.
28. John Tuxill, ‘Losing Strands in the Web of Life’, EarthWatch Papers, May 1998, page 37.
29. Tim Radford, ‘It scared you stiff, now the great white faces its own’, The Guardian, 17 January 2003, page 3.
30. Philippine Biodiversity Conservation Priorities, op. cit., page 51.
31. Ibid., page 52
32. J. Madeleine Nash, ‘Assault of the Reefs’, Time, 28 October 1996, The supplement on the State of the Planet, Oceans.
33. Steve Connor, ‘Cold-water coral put at risk by deep-sea fishing’, The Independent, 5 June 2004, page 17.


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