In this landmark anniversary edition, 20 years after its original publication, the Living Planet Report 2018 provides a platform for the best science, cutting-edge research and diverse voices on the impact of humans on the health of our Earth, with inputs from more than 50 experts from academia, policy, worldwide development and conservation organizations across the world. "We may also be the last that can act to reverse this trend".
The Living Planet Report 2018 is based on data covering more than 16,700 populations of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians belonging to 4,005 species around the world. "Shrinking wildlife numbers are an indicator of the tremendous impact and pressure that we are exerting on the planet", Marco Lambertini WWF International director general said in a media statement.
A new report says the world lost a staggering 60 percent of its wildlife populations over a period of four decades.
The 14th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will be held in Egypt in November and will be, according to WWF, a "key" moment to lay the foundations of a global agreement for nature, "as was done for the climate in Paris in 2015", the report said.
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The report says freshwater species, of particular concern for Great Lakes fisheries, are down 81 per cent.
It says South and Central America suffered the most dramatic decline in vertebrate populations - an 89% loss in vertebrate populations compared with 1970. The population of the critically endangered Gharial across its range in India and Nepal declined by 58% between 1997 and 2206. That increased from 28 million tons that year to a peak of 130 million tons in 1996-although it has modestly decreased to 110 million tons in 2014, the last year of estimates.
"For the 2018 report, 319 new species have been added to the Living Planet Index database", Colby Loucks, deputy goal lead and senior director at the WWF Wildlife Conservation Program, told weather.com.
The status of Ireland's native wildlife is no less concerning than the overall picture portrayed in the WWF report. "Exploding" levels of human consumption, over-exploitation of natural resources such as over-fishing, cutting down forests and the use of pesticides in agriculture are having dire effects on the system that humanity is dependent upon. At the same time, we are shoving many species, plant, and animal, to extinction. Barrett also said that this decimation is jeopardizing the future of humanity. "The urban air pollution in Pakistan is among the world's most severe, significantly damaging human health, quality of life, economy and the environment", he said. "It's time to balance our consumption with the needs of nature, and to protect the only planet that is our home". "Humans are living beyond the planet's means and wiping out life on earth in the process", the report warns.