WWF report reveals a 60% decline in wildlife populations since 1970

Pablo Tucker
November 1, 2018

According to WWF's 2018 Living Planet Report (subtitled "Aiming higher"), wildlife populations have dropped 60 percent in more than 40 years-"a grim reminder and perhaps the ultimate indicator of the pressure we exert on the planet", Director General Marco Lambertini said. The numbers of freshwater wildlife species showed a dramatic decline of 83% over the same period.

India is one of the worst affected by biodiversity loss even though its per capita global ecological footprint is among the lowest in the world, WWF experts said, commenting on the report's findings. Natural systems essential to our survival - forests, oceans, and rivers - remain in decline.

All human economic activity depends on nature, the report said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.

Its Living Planet Report has found that the percentage of seabirds with plastic in their stomach has have increased from five per cent in 1960 to nine out of 10 today, and that the world has lost around half its shallow water corals in just 30 years.

As per the WWF report, the figures note "The increasing rates of change in human activity since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution".

The report suggests that this generation may be the last who can can act to reverse the trend. Methods of destruction The report outlines the various ways in which human activities have led to losses in animal populations. A global deal for nature, similar to the Paris Climate Agreement, can ensure that effective conservation methods continue, and more ambitious goals are set.

He said the urban air pollution in Pakistan was among the world's most severe, significantly damaging human health, quality of life, economy and the environment. "Nature contributes to human well being culturally and spiritually, as well as through the critical production of food, clean water, and energy, and through regulating the Earth's climate, pollution, pollination, and floods", says Professor Bob Watson, one of the world's top environmental scientists.

Calling the wildlife and the ecosystem "vital to human life", the current chairman of an intergovernmental panel on biodiversity and world's most eminent environmental scientists said, "destruction of nature is as unsafe as climate change". This can galvanize public and private action to protect and restore global biodiversity and nature and bend the curve on the devastating trends highlighted in the report.

The ecological footprint of the planet "has increased by nearly 190 percent" in the last fifty years, says the report on the parameters that measure the consumption of natural resources.

Every two years the Living Planet Report is collected for the WWF with indicators from the Zoological Society of London, and tracks nearly 17,000 populations of 4,000 vertebrate species to establish "trends in global biodiversity and the health of the planet". But an upcoming meeting of the 195-nation body could be the beginning of a "revolution" that will see the Convention re-engineered in 2020 into "a new deal for Nature".

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