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Down to Earth

Extinction crisis: Saving the planet's species from an irreversible fate

Species are disappearing faster than at any time since the dinosaurs' demise. Scientists are calling it the sixth mass extinction and it's largely driven by man. This week the team from Down to Earth looks at efforts made by industry to reduce biodiversity loss across the planet before it's too late.

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In France, hundreds of quarries are being returned to their natural state after years of extraction, with spectacular results. Alternatively, in the United States, many of Alabama's derelict gas and oil rigs have been transformed into artificial reefs instead of being sold as scrap metal.

Are these truly ecological gestures or a bid to clean up a dirty image?

We speak to Inger Andersen, Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, who says rehabilitation should only be considered after every effort has been made to prevent damage in the first place.

Today, humans face a difficult but pressing challenge: finding the right balance between development and the protection of nature.

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