60 per cent wildlife wiped out, ours last generation that could act

Katie Ramirez
November 1, 2018

Living Planet Report 2018 is the twelfth edition of WWF's biennial flagship publication.

More than 80 per cent of freshwater populations have vanished, with freshwater fish accounting for a higher rate of extinction than any other vertebrate. Between climate change and the human need for more and more space, our world is shrinking.

[Figure 2 - source: WWF Living Planet Report-2018] State of Earth's life support system. It's not even a blink of an eye compared to the history of life on Earth.' 'Now that we have the power to control and even damage nature, we continue to (use) it as if we were the hunters and gatherers of 20,000 years ago, with the technology of the 21st century, ' he added.

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.

What is increasingly clear is that human development and wellbeing are reliant on healthy natural systems, and we can not continue to enjoy the former without the latter.

The percentage of the world's seabirds with plastic in their stomach is estimated to have increased from 5pc in 1960 to 90pc today, and the world has already lost around half its shallow water corals in just 30 years.

"We are the first generation that has a clear picture of the value of nature and the grave situation we are facing", the report says.

Speaking at launching of WWF's Living Planet Report 2018 on Tuesday, he said declining populations were especially pronounced in the South America (89 per cent), Africa (56 per cent) and the Indo-Pacific (64 per cent) region which included Pakistan.

Red Sox troll Yankees during champagne clubhouse celebration
Plenty of singing and dancing took place in the clubhouse, while champagne bottles were popped. But I don't agree with a lot of stuff he says about us.

The findings of the 2018 Living Planet Report are based on the "Living Planet Index" that tracked the trends of no less than 16,704 populations of 4,005 vertebrate species over the past 40 years.

WWF regards the directive as "one of the EU's most progressive pieces of environmental legislation to date", saying it plays a vital role in protecting Europe's rivers, lakes, groundwater and wetlands from overexploitation. It said humans are "pushing the planet to the brink" and taking "an unprecedented toll on wildlife".

Currently, about a quarter of the Earth's land is free of the impacts of human activity, but the authors predict that will drop to just 10 percent by 2050.

WWF along with conservation and science colleagues around the world are calling for a new global deal between nature and people, involving decision makers at every level to make the right political, financial and consumer choices. "We may also be the last that can act to reverse this trend".

In fact, the report says that in the last 50 years the Ecological Footprint has increased by a staggering 190%.

The report specifically looks at the importance of pollinators which are responsible for US$ 235-577 billion in crop production per year, and how a changing climate, intensive agricultural practices, invasive species and emerging diseases have impacted their abundance, diversity and health.

"When you lose biodiversity and world becomes biologically and aesthetically a poorer place", Keith Somerville, a professor in human-wildlife conflict at Kent University, told NBC News.

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