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This is an IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer from IELTS Cambridge 14 about environmental problems effecting plants and animals and it is an interesting question. You can read about another question from Cambridge 14 on the topic of changing your life here.

Here is the question:

Some people say that the main environmental problem of our time is the loss of particular species of plants and animals. Others say that there are more important environmental problems.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

I think this question is really tricky. The topic itself is simple: environmental problems.

Some IELTS questions have tough topics – like space tourism – but this one is easy enough for most people to write about.

The tricky part is related to the question itself. It is not asking you to just write about environmental problems.

You must have a clear reason why losing animals and plants is the most important problem.

And then a different reason, not related to plants or animals, that a different problem is more important!

It’s tough! So read below on how I handled this tentacled question…

Once you’re done with that, check out the other IELTS Task 2 Writing Sample Answers that I wrote!

You might feel like this panda trying to answer this tricky IELTS question…

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Environmental Problems Plants and Animals (IELTS Cambridge 14)

Some people say that the main environmental problem of our time is the loss of particular species of plants and animals. Others say that there are more important environmental problems.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

Many are of the opinion that the risks for endangered plants and wildlife are the most severe consequences of our worsening environment while others would argue that other problems are more pressing. While I consider the impact of recurring natural disasters to be important, in my opinion the loss of wildlife is the most serious threat to the environment.

The rise in recent catastrophic natural disasters has been strongly linked to climate change. Many scientists have made the case that incremental rises in temperature, specifically involving the oceans, has increased the frequency and potency of hurricanes, tsunamis, and blizzards. There are countless instances of these from the last two decades but the tsunami affecting mainly Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand in 2004 is a particularly striking example. This was the largest natural disaster this century and resulted in thousands of deaths, injuries and billions of dollars in damages, the effects of which set these developing nations back economically for years. People lost their lives, homes, and livelihood in many cases.

The main reason that many people including myself are so focused on plant and animal life is because of the rising number of endangered animals in recent decades. One of the most well-known examples of this is the often cited case of polar bears. Polar bears live mainly in the Arctic and recent melting of the polar ice caps has resulted in reduced ice for polar bears to hunt on. Polar bears have become an endangered species and it is often forecast that by 2100 they will be entirely extinct in the wild. Their extinction will likely have a domino effect on the fragile ecosystems of the arctic and other endangered animals like seals and narwhales. This is just one example of the impact of global warming on animals and plants of our planet. Extinction is irreversible and there is no more lasting impression we can leave than to deplete the world entirely of a species.

In my opinion, the loss of ecological diversity trumps any other environmental concerns. In order to remedy this problem governments and individuals need to take serious steps to not only invest more in conservation efforts for endangered animals but also work towards long term reforms related to fossil fuels, carbon emissions and the other apparent catalysts for climate change.

IELTS Examiner Sample Answer Analysis

1. Many are of the opinion that the risks for endangered plants and wildlife are the most severe consequences of our worsening environment while others would argue that other problems are more pressing. 2. While I consider the impact of recurring natural disasters to be important, in my opinion the loss of wildlife is the most serious threat to the environment.

1. The first sentence states the topic – write this sentence very quickly because it’s not that important.

2. Next is my opinion, be sure that this is clear and include it in both your introduction and conclusion.

1. The rise in recent catastrophic natural disasters has been strongly linked to climate change. 2. Many scientists have made the case that incremental rises in temperature, specifically involving the oceans, has increased the frequency and potency of hurricanes, tsunamis, and blizzards. 3. There are countless instances of these from the last two decades but the tsunami affecting mainly Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand in 2004 is a particularly striking example. 4. This was the largest natural disaster this century and resulted in thousands of deaths, injuries and billions of dollars in damages, the effects of which set these developing nations back economically for years. 5. People lost their lives, homes, and livelihood in many cases.

1. The first sentence is a topic sentence with the main idea for the whole paragraph – natural disasters are important and linked to climate change.

2. My second sentence provides specific evidence of this and support from researchers. Try not to use research that it is too specific (like a 1992 study by the University of Michigan showed…) because it is obviously made up. That technically shouldn’t hurt your score but some examiners may take exception.

3. The third sentence focuses on a specific example of a tsunami in Southeast Asia.

4. The fourth sentence develops the example by talking about the implications of the tsunami. This question is all about how important the environmental problem is so be sure to focus on the effects to show the importance!

5. The fifth sentence continues with the effects of the disasters.

1. The main reason that many people including myself are so focused on plant and animal life is because of the rising number of endangered animals in recent decades. 2. One of the most well-known examples of this is the often cited case of polar bears. 3. Polar bears live mainly in the Arctic and recent melting of the polar ice caps has resulted in reduced ice for polar bears to hunt on. 4. Polar bears have become an endangered species and it is often forecast that by 2100 they will be entirely extinct in the wild. 5. Their extinction will likely have a domino effect on the fragile ecosystems of the arctic and other endangered animals like seals and narwhales. 6. This is just one example of the impact of global warming on animals and plants of our planet. 7. Extinction is irreversible and there is no more lasting impression we can leave than to deplete the world entirely of a species.

1. The first sentence is another topic sentence stating why I think the less of plants and animals is more important – because animals may go extinct.

2. My second sentence starts my example. Try to get to your examples as fast as possible – they are like life-preservers tossed to the struggling IELTS student in the water!

3. The third sentence focuses more closely on the example.

4. My fourth sentence focuses more closely on the example

5. The fifth sentence continues the example by describing the effect on the entire arctic ecosystem.

6. The sixth sentence makes the example more general by extending it to other animal species around the world.

7. The final sentence gives more support for my opinion that animal extinction is the most important problem.

1. In my opinion, the loss of ecological diversity trumps any other environmental concerns. 2. In order to remedy this problem governments and individuals need to take serious steps to not only invest more in conservation efforts for endangered animals but also work towards long term reforms related to fossil fuels, carbon emissions and the other apparent catalysts for climate change.

1. My first sentence restates my overall opinion and the main reason for it.

2. The last sentence gives some suggestions about what people can do to combat this problem. Be sure to have an extra detail in your final sentence because many examiners require it for band 7+ for task achievement.

Sample Answer Vocabulary

Try to figure out what the vocabulary in bold means from the context of the whole sentence. Don’t worry if you are not 100% sure – over time you will become more sure of the meaning (don’t use a dictionary in your native language because you will most likely learn the wrong word).

Many are of the opinion that the risks for endangered plants and wildlife are the most severe consequences of our worsening environment while others would argue that other problems are more pressing. While I consider the impact of recurring natural disasters to be important, in my opinion the loss of wildlife is the most serious threat to the environment.

The rise in recent catastrophic natural disasters has been strongly linked to climate change. Many scientists have made the case that incremental rises in temperature, specifically involving the oceans, has increased the frequency and potency of hurricanes, tsunamis, and blizzards. There are countless instances of these from the last two decades but the tsunami affecting mainly Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand in 2004 is a particularly striking example. This was the largest natural disaster this century and resulted in thousands of deaths, injuries and billions of dollars in damages, the effects of which set these developing nations back economically for years. People lost their lives, homes, and livelihood in many cases.

The main reason that many people including myself are so focused on plant and animal life is because of the rising number of endangered animals in recent decades. One of the most well-known examples of this is the often cited case of polar bears. Polar bears live mainly in the Arctic and recent melting of the polar ice caps has resulted in reduced ice for polar bears to hunt on. Polar bears have become an endangered species and it is often forecast that by 2100 they will be entirely extinct in the wild. Their extinction will likely have a domino effect on the fragile ecosystems of the arctic and other endangered animals like seals and narwhales. This is just one example of the impact of global warming on animals and plants of our planet. Extinction is irreversible and there is no more lasting impression we can leave than to deplete the world entirely of a species.

In my opinion, the loss of ecological diversity trumps any other environmental concerns. In order to remedy this problem governments and individuals need to take serious steps to not only invest more in conservation efforts for endangered animals but also work towards long term reforms related to fossil fuels, carbon emissions and the other apparent catalysts for climate change.

Answers:

of the opinion: in my opinion/I think

endangered: not many left, close to extinction

severe consequences: very bad results

worsening environment: environment getting worse

pressing: important

recurring natural disasters: natural disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes, etc. happening again and again

serious threat: could really hurt something/someone

strongly linked: strong evidence to suggest a relationship

climate change: global warming

incremental rises: small increases

potency: strength of

hurricanes: lots of wind and rain in a powerful storm

tsunamis: big waves after an earthquake

blizzards: snowy storms

countless instances: many examples of

particularly striking example: very strong/good example

set back: hinder/hold back/hurt

livelihood: jobs/making money

well-known examples: famous examples

often cited case: frequently mentioned

polar ice caps: icebergs at the top of the Earth

forecast: predicted

in the wild: not in captivity, living naturally outside

domino effect: cause more related problems

fragile ecosystems: easily hurt food chains/relationships in nature

lasting impression: long-term impact

deplete: decrease/lesson/make less of

ecological diversity: lots of different plants/animals

trumps: is more important than/outweighs

remedy: fix/heal

conservation efforts: attempts to save

long term reforms: lasting changes

fossil fuels: oil, gas, etc. taken from the Earth

carbon emissions: the amount of gas/pollusion put into the air

catalysts: causes

Pronunciation

ɒv ði əˈpɪnjən 
ɪnˈdeɪnʤəd 
sɪˈvɪə ˈkɒnsɪkwənsɪz 
ˈwɜːsnɪŋ ɪnˈvaɪərənmənt 
ˈprɛsɪŋ 
rɪˈkɜːrɪŋ ˈnæʧrəl dɪˈzɑːstəz 
ˈsɪərɪəs θrɛt 
ˈstrɒŋli lɪŋkt 
ˈklaɪmɪt ʧeɪnʤ 
ˌɪnkrɪˈmɛnt(ə)l ˈraɪzɪz 
ˈpəʊtənsi 
ˈhʌrɪkənz 
tsuːˈnɑːmiz 
ˈblɪzədz 
ˈkaʊntlɪs ˈɪnstənsɪz 
pəˈtɪkjʊləli ˈstraɪkɪŋ ɪgˈzɑːmpl 
sɛt 
bæk 
ˈlaɪvlɪhʊd 
wɛlnəʊn ɪgˈzɑːmplz 
ˈɒf(ə)n ˈsaɪtɪd keɪs 
ˈpəʊləaɪs ˈkæps 
ˈfɔːkɑːst 
ɪn ðə waɪld 
ˈdɒmɪnəʊ ɪˈfɛkt 
ˈfræʤaɪl ˈiːkəʊˌsɪstəmz 
ˈlɑːstɪŋ ɪmˈprɛʃən 
dɪˈpliːt 
ˌɛkəˈlɒʤɪkəl daɪˈvɜːsɪti trʌmps 
ˈrɛmɪdi 
ˌkɒnsə(ː)ˈveɪʃən ˈɛfəts 
lɒŋ tɜːm ˌriːˈfɔːmz 
ˈfɒsl fjʊəlz 
ˈkɑːbən ɪˈmɪʃənz 
ˈkætəlɪsts 

 

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

Many are ______________ that the risks for ______________ plants and wildlife are the most ______________ of our ______________ while others would argue that other problems are more ______________. While I consider the impact of ______________ to be important, in my opinion the loss of wildlife is the most ______________ to the environment.

The rise in recent catastrophic natural disasters has been ______________ to ______________. Many scientists have made the case that ______________ in temperature, specifically involving the oceans, has increased the frequency and ______________ of ____________________________, and______________. There are ______________ of these from the last two decades but the tsunami affecting mainly Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand in 2004 is a ______________. This was the largest natural disaster this century and resulted in thousands of deaths, injuries and billions of dollars in damages, the effects of which ______________ these developing nations ______________ economically for years. People lost their lives, homes, and ______________ in many cases.

The main reason that many people including myself are so focused on plant and animal life is because of the rising number of endangered animals in recent decades. One of the most ______________ of this is the ______________ of polar bears. Polar bears live mainly in the Arctic and recent melting of the ______________ has resulted in reduced ice for polar bears to hunt on. Polar bears have become an endangered species and it is often ______________ that by 2100 they will be entirely extinct______________. Their extinction will likely have a ______________ on the ______________ of the arctic and other endangered animals like seals and narwhales. This is just one example of the impact of global warming on animals and plants of our planet. Extinction is irreversible and there is no more ______________ we can leave than to ______________ the world entirely of a species.

In my opinion, the loss of ______________ any other environmental concerns. In order to ______________ this problem governments and individuals need to take serious steps to not only invest more in ______________ for endangered animals but also work towards ______________ related to ____________________________ and the other apparent ______________ for climate change.

Links Narrated by David Attenborough

Tasmania

The Deep Ocean

Empire of the Ants

Iguanas vs Snakes 

Comment below – Which animals will you miss the most if they go extinct?

I’d have to say…

I guess I’d be the most gutted about…

I’d hate to see…

I wouldn’t be all that bothered about…

 

You can continue your IELTS and English studies in my private Facebook group, on my YouTube channel and my Instagram – don’t miss out!


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