One million species are facing the risk of extinction due to human influence, according to a draft UN report set to be released on May 6.
The 44-page Summary for Policy Makers, obtained by AFP, links biodiversity loss to global warming, warning that the degrading clean air, potable water, CO2-absorbing forests, pollinating insects, protein-rich fish and storm-blocking mangroves pose a threat more than climate change.
The summary briefs world leaders on the findings included in a 1,800-page UN assessment of scientific literature on the state of Nature.
"We need to recognize that climate change and loss of Nature are equally important, not just for the environment, but as development and economic issues as well," Robert Watson, chair of the UN-mandated body, told AFP.
"The way we produce our food and energy is undermining the regulating services that we get from Nature," he said, adding that only "transformative change" can stalk the damage.
The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) report also warns of "an imminent rapid acceleration in the global rate of species extinction."
The speed of loss "is already tens to hundreds of times higher than it has been, on average, over the last 10 million years," it said.
"Half-a-million to a million species are projected to be threatened with extinction, many within decades,” the report added.
"If we're going to have a sustainable planet that provides services to communities around the world, we need to change this trajectory in the next ten years, just as we need to do that with climate," said WWF chief scientist Rebecca Shaw, formerly a member of the UN scientific bodies for both climate and biodiversity.
"There are also two big indirect drivers of biodiversity loss and climate change -- the number of people in the world and their growing ability to consume," she stressed.