Living Planet Index Report 2018
- The Living Planet Report is WWF’s initiative released every two years (biennial). It began in 1988 and is based on living planet index and ecological footprint calculations.
- It is a comprehensive study of the trends in the health of the plant and biodiversity.
- The recent report is the 12th of its edition.
- The report calls for new goals post-2020 running along with Convention on Biological Diversity, the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.
- The report presents a sorry state of affair and reports that the impact of human activity on planet earth and its inhabitants which includes forests, rivers, climate and wildlife is devastating.
- It calls out the global community to “collectively rethink and redefine how we value, protect and restore nature”, on an urgent basis.
- The report highlights an overall decline of 60%in population size of wildlife between 1970 and 2014.
- The 11th report showed that vertebrate population declined well over 50% and warned that if this trend continues by 2020 almost 67% of the animals would be wiped out from the face of the earth.
- This year’s report exemplifies the warning and shows how it is becoming a reality.
- The decline of species is categorically pronounced in the tropics with south and central America being the worst hit. They witnessed the most dramatic fall, an 89% loss compared to 1970.
- With respect to India, the report finds out while India has one of the lowest ecological footprint of consumption, it is the worst hit when it comes to soil biodiversity.
- The report lists “loss of above ground diversity, pollution and nutrient overloading, intensive agriculture, fire, soil erosion, desertification and climate change” as some of the risk indicators.
The other major highlights of the report are:
- Three quarter of land on earth affected by human activities.
- 300 mammals’ species being eaten into extinction
- A fifth of the Amazon forest (20%) has disappeared in mere 50 years
- Covering more than 20% of Brazil, the Cerrado, tropical savannah, an area about the size of London is cleared every month.
- Among the freshwater species, a sharp decline has been noted; around 83%. This included 880 species spanning across mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fishes.
- Levels of carbon dioxide reached an average of 410 ppm in April 2018, which was highest in past one million year.
About WWF (World Wide Fund For Nature)
- It is an international NGO working to preserve wilderness and minimising the impact of humans on nature and environment. Formerly known as the World Wildlife Fund, it is the largest conservation organisation for nature across the world.
- Its work is centered around these 6 primary areas; food, climate, freshwater, wildlife, forests, and oceans.
- It was founded in 1961 and is headquartered in Gland, Switzerland.
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Team BYJU'S Exam Prep