According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) The Living Planet Index 2020, the populations of animals including animals, birds and fish on Earth have been reduced to more than 2/3 in less than 50 years.
The cause is believed to be the excessive hunting and consumption of humans, at the same time, the development of human society has invaded and seriously degraded 3/4 of the land area and 40% of the ocean. world.
The rate of human destruction is even increasing at the rate of human destruction, the authors contributing to the report. It can have immeasurable consequences on the health and livelihood of our own species.
The Planet Life Index tracks the diversity of more than 4,000 vertebrate species distributed around the world.
The Planet Life Index is a report produced in partnership with the Global Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Zoological Association of London. In particular, scientists have the task of tracking the diversity of more than 4,000 vertebrate species distributed around the world.
Publication 2020 is the 13th time the Planetary Life Index has been produced. And this year, scientists have focused on warning humanity’s increasing deforestation and agricultural expansion as a major cause of the 68% decline in animal populations observed since 1970. to 2016.
“It’s a rapid decline we’ve been tracking for 30 years. It just keeps getting worse and worse.“, Said Marco Lambertini, General Manager of WWF Global. “In 2016, we recorded a 60% decrease, now the decrease is 70%”.
“All this happened in a flash compared to the millions of years that many species have lived on the planet”, Lambertini adds. Scientists warn that human encroachment into nature has many consequences, including the rise of global pandemics as we come in closer contact with wildlife.
The “startling” decline
For the past half century, humans have witnessed an unprecedented economic growth in history. That growth is underpinned by an explosion in the exploitation and consumption of natural resources worldwide.
All human activities impacting nature are called “Birth footprintsThe “love we leave on the planet. Until 1970, scientists said that those footprints are still being erased. That means how much human impact on nature, nature can recover.” and recreated there.
But from the 1970s onwards, humans began to exploit and consume the nature so much that it exceeded the planet’s offset threshold. So far, WWF calculates that we’ve used half of the Earth’s resilience, including animal populations around the world.
Pollution, invasive animals are factors that cause a decline in animal populations. However, scientists say the deepest and biggest cause of this decline is human land use activity.
Specifically, we are destroying the natural landscape and habitats of many wildlife species for our purposes. The forest lands and natural grasslands have now been turned into residential land, agricultural production areas to support an increasing population of people.
Currently, one-third of the land area and three-quarters of all fresh water worldwide are devoted to food production. The picture is equally dire in the ocean, where 75% of fish stocks are overexploited.
And while wildlife is declining at an average rate very quickly, in some areas the decline is even terrible. For example, populations of animals in tropical Central and South America have declined 94% since 1970.
“It was astonishing“Lambertini said.”It is a warning indicator of our impact on the natural world.
Ecological decline in some areas of the world.
From sad to worried
The Planetary Life Index is accompanied by a study co-authored by more than 40 non-governmental and academic organizations. In it, scientists have proposed many measures to slow and even reverse the biological footprints that humans leave on the planet.
Research published in Nature shows that reducing food waste and prioritizing a healthier, more environmentally friendly diet can help “Bend“a decline in animal populations in the world.
Together with radical conservation efforts, these measures could prevent more than two-thirds of biodiversity loss in the future, the authors propose.
“We need to act now. The rate of biodiversity recovery is often much slower than the rate of biodiversity loss in recent years“Said David Leclere, a research scholar at the International Applied Systems Analysis Institute.
“This implies that any delay in action would continue to damage biodiversity, a loss that could take decades to recover from.“In addition, Leclere warns against losses.”unrecoverable“for biodiversity, such as when a species goes extinct.
As with past public discussions on climate change, Lambertini says society is increasingly concerned with the link between the health of the planet and that of humans. “From being sad at the loss of nature, people started to worry more“, he said.
“We still have a moral obligation to coexist with life on the planet, but now this new factor also has an impact on our society, the economy and of course our health. “