The latest ‘Living Planet Report’ by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the paramount organisation for views on Earth and its environment, has reported that the humans are plundering the Earth’s resources at a drastic rate. The report, which is published just weeks before a major conference on slowing or halting the loss of biodiversity is to be held in Nagoya, Japan, calls for a series of changes to help address the problems which we may face in the near future.
The report shows that in the last 40 years human consumption off the natural resources has doubled. Measuring the decline of species on land, in rivers and at sea – the report shows that the number has declined by 30% overall, and by a massive 60% in the tropics.
However, report compiled by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) shows that animal populations have risen significantly in the richer nations in the temperate zones north and south of the tropics, and globally appear to have stabilized in the last few years. Despite the suggestion of good news, WWF warned that there were still severe threats, especially from climate change and water shortages.
The latest index compiled the results for nearly 8,000 populations of more than 2,500 different species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and fish. The real picture is, however, likely to be worse, because the latest report includes new populations, and because there are still many tropical species which have not been identified by scientists yet. Moreover, it also does not directly measure the fate of plants, or pollution.
Another report compiled by the Global Footprint Network, shows the richest countries consume, on average, five times the quantity of natural resources as the poorest countries. Measuring the ‘ecological footprint’ of different countries – the area required to provide the resources consumed by the population or average person in a year, the report finds United Arab Emirates in the higher extreme category, with an average footprint of more than 10 hectares, and Timor-Leste at lowest level with ‘ecological footprint’ of less than one hectare. The global average is about three hectares. The report says the biggest impact on the global footprint of humanity is an 11-fold increase in carbon emissions in the last four decades. In another 40 years the footprint is forecasted to double again if our current way of life prevails.
To read more about the WWF report, visit: