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Earth Has Lost 60 Percent of Its Wildlife Since 1970

01 November 2018
Earth Has Lost 60 Percent of Its Wildlife Since 1970

Humanity is destroying the planet and, according to the Living Planet Report 2018, which was published yesterday by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), our ecological footprint has increased by nearly 190%.

Pointing at the increasing impact of human beings on species loss, the report has said the planet is driving towards a new geological epoch: the Anthropocene. "Exploding" levels of human consumption, over-exploitation of natural resources such as over-fishing, cutting down forests and the use of pesticides in agriculture are having dire effects on the system that humanity is dependent upon.

". Science has never been clearer about the consequences of our impact", Marco Lambertini, director general of WWF International said his statement that accompanied the report.

Tanya Steele from the WWF observed: "If we want a future with orangutans and puffins, then we need global leaders to step up and agree a global deal for nature".

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.

For the new assessment, the WWF used the Global Living Planet Index that tracks the population abundance of thousands of vertebrates from around the world to measure changes in biodiversity. Critically decreased and the number of representatives of freshwater species by 83%.

The world's seabirds have also been significantly affected by humans, with 90 percent estimated to have plastic in their stomachs today, up from 5 percent in 1960, the report said. "It's not just elephants, freshwater dolphins and rhinos, but Canadian wildlife too", Megan Leslie, WWF-Canada president and CEO, said in a release. It also says that nearly 301 mammal species are at the risk of getting extinct due to being hunted for food.

According to the India fact sheet of the Living Planet report, India's ecological footprint is less than 1.75 ha per person, one of the lowest in the world but the country still faces a "widening ecological deficit".

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".

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 (WWF) said after publishing a report showing a cataclysmic decline in global wildlife populations.

The dominant causes of current biodiversity decline are overexploitation, such as overfishing, and agricultural activity.

"Conservation, fragmentation of land, pollution and introduction of invasive species".

The benefits provided by wildlife and nature are not just things that are "nice to have", the report's authors stress. "We may also be the last that can act to reverse this trend".

Since 1998 the Living Planet Report, a science-based assessment of the health of our planet, has been tracking the state of global biodiversity.

The authors are setting their sights on 2020, when leaders are expected to review progress made in global treaties like the Paris Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity.