Global wildlife numbers fall by 60pc due to ‘exploding’ human activity

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"The Living Planet report clearly demonstrates that human activities are destroying nature at an unacceptable rate, threatening the wellbeing of current and future generations".

The Paris Agreement, negotiated under the United Nations convention on climate change, also set a clear target: global warming must be held to "well below" 2C, and 1.5C if possible.

The WWF publishes its Living Planet Report every two years, and the last edition in 2016 described a sharp decline in global animal populations, with the number of vertebrates falling by well over half between 1970 and 2012.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), after tracking the record of about 17,000 populations of aquatic and terrestrial vertebrates for over four decades, suggested that the populations of animal species have shrunk by an average of 60 percent in between 1970 and 2014.

"The science is clear - human activity is pushing the planet and its species to the edge", Loucks said.

The report specifically looks at the importance of pollinators which are responsible for US$ 235-577 billion in crop production per year, and how a changing climate, intensive agricultural practices, invasive species and emerging diseases have impacted their abundance, diversity and health.

Between 2009 and 2014, African elephant populations in Tanzania fell by 60 percent alone, largely due to poaching. The organization, along with conservationists and scientists across the globe, is calling for a global agreement, a "global deal for nature" similar to the Paris Climate Agreement. "While climate change is a growing threat, the main drivers of biodiversity decline continue to be the overexploitation of species, agriculture and land conversion".

The strongly worded report claims that humanity has thus far "failed the natural world" with declines in freshwater ecosystems especially pronounced. For freshwater fauna, the decline in population over the 44 years monitored was a staggering 80 per cent. Regionally, Latin America was hit hardest, seeing a almost 90 per cent loss of wildlife over the same period.

Life on earth is being wiped out by humans living beyond the planet's means according to a new report from conservation organisation WWF.

The population of the critically endangered gharial (crocodile species) declined by approximately 58 per cent between 1997 and 2006 across its range in India and Nepal. According to the WWF, this provides world leaders with an opportunity to draft a more ambitious agreement with higher reaching targets. "We have to get it right this time".

The WWF has previously issued separate reports on fish populations being halved over the last several decades.

The Living Planet Report emphasizes that biodiversity is "not just "nice to have" but also essential for human survival and well-being.

"With the upcoming European Union elections and the resulting renewal of key decision-making bodies, Europe has the opportunity to revive its global leadership on climate change and nature conservation", Asin said. But we are ignoring other systems which are inter-connected with climate and super important to sustaining life on Earth.

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