Wildlife Populations Have Dropped 60 Percent Since 1970, Grim WWF Report Says

Wildlife Populations Have Dropped 60 Percent Since 1970, Grim WWF Report Says

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

The Living Planet Index tracks more than 4000 species spread across almost 17,000 populations. Depending on which categories are included, the current rate at which species are going extinct is 100 to 1000 times greater than only a few centuries ago. 'There is a limit to what we can destroy, and there is a minimum amount of nature that we need to preserve, ' Lambertini added, noting in the study that the global community has a 'rapidly closing window for action'.

This is the 12th report, which has been prepared since 20 years by the veteran conservation NGO, on the environmental situation of the Earth and reflects a worrying trend in the state of biodiversity and the planet's health.

"Biodiversity has been described as the "infrastructure" that supports all life on Earth".

"It is a grim signal and perhaps the main indicator of the pressure that we exerted on the planet", said WWF International Director General Marco Lambertini.

While climate change is a growing threat, the report said the overexploitation of species for consumption, agriculture, and activities such as land conversion and habitat loss were the top threats to biodiversity.

Global sustainability expert and professor Johan Rockström said that we are running out of time, and we must address the ecosystems and climate if we stand a chance of safeguarding the planet for our future on Earth. "Science is showing us the harsh reality our forests, oceans and rivers are enduring at our hands".

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It is also reported that the most severe decline in animal numbers has occurred in the tropics of South and Central America.

The biannual report looked at 4,000 species of amphibians, birds, fish, mammals and reptiles.

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 risky as climate change".

The Indo-Pacific whale shark population is also estimated by the WWF to have reduced by 63 per cent over the last 75 years, while it said African elephant populations in Tanzania declined by 60 per cent between 2009 and 2014, primarily due to poaching.

World Wildlife Fund-Pakistan Senior Director Programmes Rab Nawaz said Pakistan is faced with many challenges and opportunities when it comes to the environment and wildlife.

The 2018 edition says only a quarter of the world's land area is now free from the impact of human activity and the proportion will have fallen to just a 10th by 2050. Globally, nature provides services worth around $125 trillion a year, while also helping ensure the supply of fresh air, clean water, food, energy, medicines and more. 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". The report presents a sobering picture of the impact of human activity on the world's wildlife, forests, oceans, rivers and climate, underlining the rapidly closing window for action and the urgent need for the global community to collectively rethink and redefine how we value, protect and restore nature.

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