A Living Planet Report which aims to assess the state of the world’s wildlife has been produced by The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the results are shocking. In the report, the conservation group WWF, warn that Earth is losing biodiversity at a rate seen only during mass extinctions. Humanity has wiped out, on average, 60% of vertebrate species populations since 1970 and now experts warn of an emergency that is threatening civilisation.
The report involved 59 scientists from around the world and alerts to more than just losing the wonders of our world. It was determined that largely the growing consumption of food and resources by the global population is destroying the web of life upon which humanity ultimately depends on for clean air, water and much more.
Produced for the WWF, the Zoological Society of London used data on 16,704 populations of vertebrates which represented more than 4,000 species in order to track the decline of wildlife. This found that between 1970 and 2014, populations of these species fell by an average of 60%. Consequently, the report shows that many species are diminishing in numbers at an alarming rate however, this does not tell us that we have lost a total of 60% of our wildlife.
The biggest cause of this reduction in populations is the destruction of natural habitats, much of which is destroyed to make way for farmlands. The next leading cause is killing for food with 300 species being eaten to extinction and more than half of the oceans being industrially fished. Chemical pollution is also significant and global trade has decimated some species through the introduction of invasive species and diseases.
The WWF are calling for a global new deal for nature and people, similar to that of the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change. This is yet another instance where organisations are calling for change on a global scale as we can no longer ignore the impact of current unsustainable production models and wasteful lifestyles.
“We are the first generation to know we are destroying our planet and the last one that can do anything about it.”- Tanya Steele, Chief Executive at WWF
Source: The Guardian