Boris Johnson’s fiancee admitted the BBC documentary Extinction: The Facts, which was broadcast last night, was “massively difficult to watch”. But environmental campaigner Ms Symonds insisted “everyone should watch this” and called for action to tackle the crisis.
She tweeted: “Everyone should watch this. It’s massively difficult to watch – I cried – but it is vital. We can’t ignore it. It’s time to act. #ExtinctionTheFacts.”
In the documentary, Sir David warns the world is at a “turning point”.
The 94-year-old national treasure says: “Our planet is home to a seemingly infinite variety of species, from ocean giants to the tiniest insects.
“We call this abundance of life biodiversity, but today it’s vanishing at rates never seen before in human history.
“The evidence is that unless immediate action is taken, this crisis has grave impacts for us all.
“The scientists have even linked our destructive relationship with nature to the emergence of COVID-19.
“The decisions made as we rebuild our economies are critical.
“Over the course of my life, I’ve encountered some of the world’s most remarkable species of animals.
“Only now do I realise just how lucky I’ve been. Many of these wonders seem set to disappear forever.
“We are facing a crisis and one that has consequences for us all.
“It threatens our ability to feed ourselves, to control our climate, it even puts us at greater risk of pandemic diseases such as COVID-19.
“It’s never been more important for us to understand the effects of biodiversity loss, of how it is that we ourselves are responsible for it.
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“Only if we do that, will we have any hope of averting disaster.”
Sir David’s new documentary comes after a UN report last year revealed around one million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction.
Naturalist Chris Packham said in a post on Twitter that the programme was “essential viewing”.
Zoologist Megan McCubbin tweeted: “There’s a wave of revolution. We’re realising the planet is an integral part of existence.
“If we don’t act now, the youth of today and tomorrow will look back at this generation and ask, what were you thinking?
“If nature is given the chance, it can bounce back. #ExtinctionTheFacts.”
Conservation organisation WWF posted: “#ExtinctionTheFacts showed the problems facing our world.
“It’s time to stop destroying nature and start protecting it. #StandUpForNature.”
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