Human Pressures Have Shrunk Wildlife Populations by 60 Percent

01 November, 2018, 13:24 | Author: Kelly Sanders
  • Only a global pact on the scale of the Paris Agreement on climate change will save the natural world from irreversible collapse the World Wide Fund for Nature said

"This report sounds a warning shot across our bow", said Carter Roberts, president, and CEO of WWF-US.

The Living Planet Index tracks more than 4000 species spread across almost 17,000 populations. These reductions are thought to be directly linked to human activity since current rates of species extinction are now 100 to 1,000 times higher than before human pressures became a factor. We need a healthy planet to have a healthy humanity.

[Figure 2 - source: WWF Living Planet Report-2018] State of Earth's life support system. As the main cause of this "serious decline in biodiversity", the WWF puts its focus on the "uncontrolled" patterns of human consumption, which it says is "responsible" for the over exploitation of ecosystems and agriculture, as well as of pollution, invasive species and diseases as well as climate change.

Global wildlife like the black crested macaque has been decimated, say the WWF.

It is estimated that 99pc of all species that have ever lived on planet Earth are now extinct, driven in large part by evolution, changing climates and, of course, human intervention. Shallow-water coral reefs have been cut in half in the last 30 years, and about 20 percent of the Amazon rainforest has disappeared over the last 50 years, the authors found.

"We are the first generation to know we are destroying our planet and the last one that can do anything about it". Freshwater species have also significantly fallen - 83 percent since 1970.


The Living Planet Report 2018 presents a comprehensive overview of the state of our natural world, through multiple indicators including the Living Planet Index (LPI), which examines trends in global wildlife abundance. The report added that now only a quarter of land on this planet has not been severely impacted or damaged by human activity, but is projected to decline to just one tenth of the land by 2050, due to pollution, disease, and climate change, among other factors.

A new report from the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) adds to the deluge of recent horrifying environmental news about the increasing pressure of climate change and extinctions that are happening at such a pace that nature can not keep up.

WWF-India said that over 4,000 species were monitored across the globe, and a 60 per cent decline was noticed between 1970 to 2014.

Ms. McRae noted the increased role of environmental groups in protecting wildlife habitats and called on world governments to do more to protect the planet's biodiversity.

In the words of Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF International, "Today, we still have a choice". The increased demand for energy, land and water over the past 50 years has also increased our global ecological footprint (one measure of our consumption of natural resources) by over 190%.

In 2020, many nations of the world will be meeting at the UN's Convention on Biological Diversity to make new commitments to protect nature and wildlife. "We need a new global deal for nature and people and we have this narrow window of less than two years to get it", said Barrett. "Pakistan is experiencing a steady rise in carbon emissions, which contributes to global issues such as climate change and global warming", he said.

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