World Wildlife Fund (WWF) released a report which charges humanity with clearing out 60% of animal species since 1970 through reckless habitat destruction and “exploding human consumption.”
Every two years the Living Planet Report is collected for the WWF with indicators from the Zoological Society of London, and tracks almost 17,000 populations of 4,000 vertebrate species to establish “trends in global biodiversity and the health of the planet.”
This year’s report indicates our role in the loss of 83% of freshwater wildlife since 1970, 20% of the Amazon, and half of the world’s shallow-water corals which is a shocking statistic.
The report states that “Nature, underpinned by biodiversity, provides a wealth of services which form the building blocks of modern society, but both nature and biodiversity are disappearing at an alarming rate.”
Stuart Pimm, the Conservation scientist of Duke University told the National Geographic in 2016 that there is too much uncertainty and variability across regions to distil the state of the world into one number. The report also depresses people to no end and suggests there is no hope.
This year’s report cited population increases of pandas, dolphins, and gorillas as positive signs of environmental work in action, and credited legal frameworks like the US Endangered Species Act with helping listed species avoid extinction.
The report calls for a “global deal for nature,” similar to the Paris Climate Agreement, to set more ambitious conservation goals. The report states “We are the first generation that has a clear picture of the value of nature and the grave situation we are facing. We may also be the last generation that can do something about it.”