The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has just released its 2010 Living Planet Report, and the document paints a worrying image of the world today, especially in terms of resource use and species extinction.
The survey is produced once every two years, and experts at the WWF work together with colleagues from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the Global Footprint Network (GFN) for the job.
Some of the most important conclusions in the report is that the biodiversity of tropical species is being lost at an alarmingly high rate, and also that natural resource exploitation practices are exaggerated. Experts say that the current rate of utilizing the planet’s resources is rising to about 50 percent more than the level of exploitation the Earth can take in a sustainable manner.Generally, the Living Planet Index covers the entire worlds, and it’s used as a leading source of information in the field. It covers the health of more than 2,500 species of animals.
Approximately 8,000 populations are being surveyed for the reports. The long-term conclusions that can be drawn from all Living Planet Reports are not encouraging. An estimated 30 percent of biodiversity in the surveyed species has been lost since 1970 alone, and the areas in the tropics were the hardest hit, with a 60 percent loss rate, the WWF reports in a press release. “There is an alarming rate of biodiversity loss in low-income, often tropical countries while the developed world is living in a false paradise, fueled by excessive consumption and high carbon emissions,” says Jim Leape. The official is the Director General of WWF International. He adds that not all news in the report are bad, considering that some populations in temperate areas are beginning to show signs of recovery.
These improvements are due to advances made in pollution and waste control, as well as to greater conservation efforts.“Species are the foundation of ecosystems. Healthy ecosystems form the basis of all we have – lose them and we destroy our life support system,” says Jonathan Baillie. He is the director of the Conservation Program at the Zoological Society of London. The new report also features some worrying predictions for the future, especially in terms of resource consumption. “The report shows that continuing of the current consumption trends would lead us to the point of no return,” Leape explains. About “4.5 Earths would be required to support a global population living like an average resident of the of the US,” he concludes.
This post is also available in: Spanish