WWF: For 50 years, the population of Earth was reduced by 60%

This is the last generation that can save nature - WWF

WWF has warned that current protection methods are failing and more needs to be done to protect numerous species from becoming extinct in the near future. "If there was a 60% decline in the human population, that would be equivalent to emptying North America, South America, Africa, Europe, China and Oceania". "We're degrading habitats, overfishing, overhunting and continuing unsustainable agricultural practices on a large scale". "This is actually now jeopardising the future of people".

The benefits provided by wildlife and nature are not just things that are "nice to have", the report's authors stress.

This report shows that many species are dwindling at an alarming rate.

"Exploding" levels of human consumption are driving the affect on nature, with over- exploitation of natural resources such as over-fishing, cutting down forests to grow crops such as soy and palm oil and the use of pesticides in agriculture.

According to the report, from 1970 to 2014 on the planet disappeared 60% of the mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians.

WWF-India said that over 4,000 species were monitored across the globe, and a 60 per cent decline was noticed between 1970 to 2014.

"Only one-quarter of land on Earth is free from impacts of human activities and that number is projected to decline to just one-tenth by 2050", the organization said. The report says that nearly three-quarters of all the land on the earth are now in some or the other way is affected by humans and their activities. South and Central America are among the worst-hit areas, with animal species declining by 89 percent over the last five decades and freshwater species by 83 percent. The UK itself has lost much of its wildlife, ranking 189th for biodiversity loss out of 218 nations in 2016. It is rivers and lakes where the damage is being felt the most, where populations of wildlife have fallen by as much as 83pc.

The Living Planet Index looks at the falls in each species, rather than in the total wildlife population.

The pace of loss is staggering in some ecosystems. "They all tell you the same story", said Barrett. Half-a-century of conservation efforts have scored spectacular successes, with significant recoveries among tigers, manatees, grizzly bears, bluefin tuna and bald eagles. Giant pandas in China and otters in the United Kingdom have also been doing well.

WWF International Director General Marco Lambertini said the impact of unsustainable production models and wasteful lifestyles could not be ignored any longer.

Globally, WWF is taking the window of opportunity between now to 2020 (when the Aichi targets under the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Environmental Goals of the 2030 agenda culminate and a new comprehensive framework for the future is set) to shape a positive vision for nature and for the planet by collaborating with a consortium of nearly 40 universities, conservation organizations and intergovernmental organizations to launch the research initiative, Bending the Curve of Biodiversity Loss. A global deal for nature, similar to the Paris Climate Agreement, can ensure that effective conservation methods continue, and more ambitious goals are set. "This really is the last chance".

We are in the midst of a scary phenomenon right now being called "the Great Acceleration".



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