March 20, 2019

WWF:Unlimited human consumption has dropped global wildlife population

01 November 2018, 02:37 | Dale Webster

This is the last generation that can save nature - WWF

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

A sobering new report shows the impact "exploding human consumption" has on animals, finding that wildlife populations have declined globally by 60 percent in the past four decades.

The report says freshwater species, of particular concern for Great Lakes fisheries, are down 81 per cent.

In the years since man first walked on the moon, his footprint back on back on earth has polluted three-quarters of the planet, and caused the wildlife population to plummet by a catastrophic 60 per cent, an worldwide report warns today. "The decline of species and damage to the natural systems we all depend on will ultimately have negative impacts on our health, societies and economies".

"In a nutshell, it's our own human activity that is leading to these declines", said James Snider, vice-president of science, research and innovation at WWF.

Mangroves, for example, trap nearly five times more carbon than tropical forests; crops partially pollinated by animals account for 35 per cent of the world's food production; and coral reefs protect around 200 million people against storm surges, according to the report. "It is time that we look beyond business as usual scenarios and galvanize collective action for positive change, allowing the planet an opportunity to revive itself", said Mr. Ravi Singh, Secretary General and CEO, WWF-India.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.

The bi-yearly Living Planet Report released Monday documents the state of the planet, including biodiversity, ecosystems and the demand on natural resources.

"For the half of monitored species with declining trends, the Living Planet Index shows, on average, a decline of 83%, from 1970 to 2014", says WWF. Also the hunting of endangered species for food production, plays a role.

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 current rate of species extinction is 100 to 1,000 times higher than the background rate, the standard rate of extinction in Earth's history before human pressure became a prominent factor", the report said in its executive summary.

"It is a wakeup call for our east coast to appear alongside notorious forest destruction hot spots such as the Amazon, Congo Basin, Sumatra and Borneo", WWF Australia boss Dermot O'Gorman said.

"Conservation, fragmentation of land, pollution and introduction of invasive species". "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. "We may also be the last generation that can do something about it".

"Biodiversity has been described as the "infrastructure" that supports all life on Earth". The group is pushing for 'a target that should be equivalent to the 2 degrees target (to limit global temperature rises) of the Paris agreement, and we still have to work out what the target is, ' Lambertini said.

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