Degradation or destruction of large natural environments, as well as environments partially modified or cultivated by man (including forests, rangelands, wetlands and aquatic ecosystems), designated wilderness areas, and culturally important landscapes (whether natural, modified, cultivated or built environments). This diversity of environments provides habitats for a variety of species and supports a range of activities of value to man (including timber, agriculture, livestock, and fish production).
Ecosystems in many regions are threatened , despite their biological richness and their promise of material benefits. This has been documented with examples from ecosystems including forests (temperate, tropical, mangrove), coral reefs, savannas, arid zones and grasslands.
The scale of oil spills and other pollution in the oceans threatens the entire sea environment. Ocean vegetation dies, ocean life dies and human hunger arises. Pollution of the atmosphere makes people and animals ill, affects crops, and alters weather patterns in persistent ways so that humans may not go out of doors in some places. However, oil slicks affect the atmosphere too, and a clouded sun and polluted atmosphere affect ocean temperature, sea level, and organic ocean life. As yet humanity has not been able to build a model of the global ecosystem interrelationships because they are not sufficiently understood. Pollution and degradation continue by sectors in the ecosystem niches, until some at least will fail. There may be a domino effect causing the human habitat to ultimately perish.