Here's the first page of an article on Reuters today:
BONN, Germany (Reuters) - The world faces a Herculean task to safeguard animal and plant life from climate change and pollution, German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel said at the opening of a U.N. biodiversity conference on Monday.
U.N. experts say human activities including greenhouse gas emissions mean the planet is facing the most serious spate of extinctions since the dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago. One species disappears roughly every 20 minutes, they say.
"In my view, climate change and the loss of biodiversity are the most alarming challenges on the global agenda," Gabriel said in a speech opening the conference, held once every two years.
He vowed to do all he could to reach accord, saying countries had to answer inconvenient questions and take action rather than produce "huge amounts of paper with little content".
"It will be a Herculean task to get the world community and each individual country on the right path to sustainability," Gabriel said, noting that extinction rates were 100 to 1,000 times higher than natural rates.
Some 5,000 delegates from nearly 200 countries met in Bonn for a two-week Convention on Biological Diversity conference at which they aim to agree on ways to slow rising extinction rates.
A U.N. summit in 2002 set a goal of slowing the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010 but experts say that goal is far off.
"The truth today is that we are still on the wrong track. If we follow this path we can foresee that we will fail to meet the target," said Gabriel.
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