We, humans, have been around on this planet for more than 2 million years. However, we have achieved something that none of our ancestors have managed to achieve, and we did it in only 44 years: a mass annihilation of our fellow earthlings!
Earth saw nearly 60% decline of its mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians between 1970 and 2014, and it’s all due to human activity.
The rate at which the planet is losing its biodiversity is comparable and even worse, than mass extinction.
This, between other findings, has been published by the World Wildlife Fund in the Living Planet Report 2018.
The report is published by WWF every two years, and it documents the state of the planet in terms of ecosystems, biodiversity, the demand of natural resources and the impact they have on wildlife and nature.
The results this year, however, have been more devastating than ever:
- – The area of minimally disturbed forests has declined by 92 million hectares between 2000 and 2013
- – 20% of the Amazon rainforest has disappeared in just 50 years
- – 75% of all the species that have gone extinct since 1500 AD have been harmed by overexploitation or agriculture
- – Ocean acidification occurs at a rate not seen in 300 million years
- – It is estimated that 50% of the shallow water corals have been lost in the past 30 years
- – We are responsible for releasing 100 billion tonnes of carbon in the Earth’s system every 10 years.
- – The levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in April 2018 reached an average of 410 parts per million (ppm) – the highest level in 800,000 years
- – No more than 25% of land on Earth is free of the impacts of human activities, and it’s projected that this number will decline to just 10% by 2050
(Rangers taking off a rhino’s horn to make it unattractive to poachers)
WWF is calling for a new global deal between people and nature, involving decision makers around the world to make the right political, financial, and consumer choices.
The report says that the biggest challenge is changing our approach to development, and remember that protecting nature means protecting people.