In their final statement, participants concluded that that based on comparisons with the fossil record, the current loss of species rate "is approximately 1,000 times the historical rate, with perhaps a quarter of all species in danger of extinction now and as many as half of them may be gone by the end of the present century."
Due to man's dependency on living organisms for necessities such as food and medicine to climate and even beauty, these losses "will inflict incalculable damage on our common prospects unless we control them."
In their discussion, participants said the danger isn't isolated to the extinction of species, but also effects the how the earth functions in general.
The "enormous increase" in human activity in the past 200 years alone not only threatens various species, but the use of fossil fuels "is putting huge strains on the earth's capacity to function sustainably," they said, and citing rising sea levels, higher global temperatures and ocean acidification as examples.
Discussion also focused at length on the topic of inequality, particularly the disparity between rich versus developing countries, linking the issue of poverty to an imbalance in consumption which results in the endangerment of certain species.
Participants argued that the 19 percent of the world's richest people use "well over" half of the world's resources, and because of this, wealthier nations are "substantially responsible for the increase in global warming and, consequently, the decrease in biodiversity."
On the other hand, they said the world's poor, "who do not enjoy the benefits of fossil fuels, are indirectly responsible for deforestation and some destruction of biodiversity, because their actions take place within a world economic system dominated by demands made by the wealthy, who have much higher overall consumption levels without paying any externalities to conserve global biodiversity."
Given the vast difference between the rich and the poor on a global plane, participants suggested "wealth redistribution" as one positive action that could be taken.
"Ending extreme poverty, which would cost about $175 billion or less than 1 percent of the combined income of the richest countries in the world, is one major route to protecting our global environment and saving as much biodiversity as possible for the future," they said, adding that this can be done differently in individual poor regions.
The panel present at the news briefing also addressed the point of population growth, saying conference participants across the board recognized that the loss of biodiversity and the negative effects of climate change don't have to do with the number of people on the planet, so much as their habits and behavior.
In comments to journalists, Archbishop Sorondo said that throughout the conference, "what was clear is that the population is not the cause of climate change, but it's the human activity and use of fossil fuels that produces climate change."
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"Consequently the population isn't the cause, but human activity, which uses those resources," he said, adding that it's not a question "of how many human beings, but the activity and use of the materials consumed."
"So today, to conserve biodiversity and to have an integral environment, this depends on human activity," he said, and stressed the importance of educating families on the issue.
Dasgupta echoed the statement, encouraging people "not to translate the sustainable output" that nature offers as solely up to human numbers, because a sustainable number of people "depends on the standard of living, the quality of life that we have on average."
Consumption is a key to this point, he said, adding that the disparity between rich and poor compounds the issue. On this point, "growth doesn't seem to change the distribution amongst us," he said, adding that "if the distribution doesn't change it's as if you're becoming richer."
In his comments, Raven noted that while the earth can't sustain "an infinite" number of people, "no one really knows the number of people the world will really support."
But when it comes to the issue of consumption, Raven said a sense of solidarity, "love and charity" ought to guide our actions, encouraging people to not just care about the future of "their own children and grandchildren," but also "for others."