• Once inhabiting much of North America, the gray wolf was so heavily hunted that its range shrank dramatically. Due to conservation efforts, it is now making a comeback. Source: <a href='works_cited.html#nwf' target=_blank> National Wildlife Federation</a>
  • Sensitive to changes in temperature, salinity, and water opacity, "coral reef ecosystems world-wide have been subject to unprecedented degradation over the past few decades ". Source: <a href='works_cited.html#coral' target=_blank>Buchheim</a>
  • Valued for its horns, which are considered to be a cure for cancer by traditional Eastern medicine, Africa's western black rhino has recently been hunted to extinction. Source: <a href='works_cited.html#rhino' target=_blank>Knight</a>
  • The Venus Flytrap is a very unique species of plants that feeds on insects because its environment generally has poor soil conditions. The fascitination with these plants has caused them to become endangered in the wild and are now generally grown in greenhouses. <a href='works_cited.html#venus' target=_blank>Botanical Society of America</a>
  • Only found in the mountains of Southern Asia, the Red Panda's habitat is being encroached by deforestation and agriculture. Source: <a href='works_cited.html#redpanda' target=_blank>National Geographic</a>
  • The soft, furry coats of the Harp Seal are highly prized in the eyes of sealers. Recent years have seen more regulated huntings however they are still hunted above a sustainable level. <a href='works_cited.html#seal' target=_blank>National Geographic</a>
  • Lilium Occidentale, or the Western Lilly, is found on the coasts of California and Oregon. Its beauty and grace is the biggest threat to its existence as passerby are quick to pick the sole flowering stalk. <a href='works_cited.html#flower' target=_blank>Center for Plant Conservation</a>


Our Mission

The purpose of Mission 2015 is to present a solution to the biodiversity crisis. This proposal outlines step-by-step, incremental procedures that will reduce the rate of biodiversity loss and preserve ecosystem services. These steps should be implemented on individual, community, state, private sector, national, and global levels.

This proposal suggests a shift in paradigm based on the interdependence of humans and the rest of the natural world. Humans must not be viewed as external engineers, but rather as integrated parts of the global ecosystem. Our solutions attempt to scale back negative human involvement and increase positive human impact on biodiversity.

The Problem

89 mammalian species have gone extinct in the last 400 years, which is almost 45 times what would have been predicted from past extinction patterns (Public Broadcasting Service 2001). This increase in extinction rate can be attributed to a variety of factors, including increased pollution levels, habitat destruction, climate change, and increased resource consumption. These problems are exacerbated by a lack of awareness regarding the biodiversity crisis and by a global failure to properly implement and enforce necessary regulations.

Our Solution

To restore the rate of species loss to its natural evolutionary level, Mission 2015 proposes a multi-pronged approach that addresses the various factors contributing to extinction. Our proposal includes recommendations concerning land preservation, sustainable resource use, biodiversity-friendly technologies, and policy content and implementation. These recommendations are coupled with suggestions for biodiversity awareness initiatives intended to convey the urgency of the biodiversity crisis to the general public.

The Cost of Inaction

In a 2008 report, the European Commission estimated that, by 2050, economic loss due to loss of ecosystem services would amount to 19 trillion USD. Invaluable ecosystem services provided by biodiversity include food production, nutrient cycling, medicinal products, and pollution breakdown (Shah 2011). Humans cannot afford to continue to lose these vital services.