Between 1970 and 2014, Earth lost nearly 60% of its mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians.
The saddest part of this is that almost all of this loss is due to human activity. The rate at which Earth is losing its biodiversity is comparable only to mass extinctions. This along with other findings have been published by the World Wildlife Fund in its Living Planet Report 2018, a chilling reminder of the damage being done to our planet.
According to the report:
20% of the Amazon has disappeared in just 50 years
On a global scale, the area of minimally disturbed forests declined by 92 million hectares between 2000 and 2013
Of all species that have gone extinct since 1500 AD, 75% were harmed by overexploitation or agriculture
Ocean acidification may be occurring at a rate not seen in at least 300 million years. The Earth is estimated to have lost 50% of its shallow water corals in the past 30 years
Humans are responsible for releasing 100 billion tonnes of carbon into the Earth’s system every 10 years. In April 2018, levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached an average of 410 parts per million (ppm) across the entire month–the highest level in at least 800,000 years
Only 25% of land on Earth is substantively free of the impacts of human activities. This is projected to decline to just 10% by 2050
In an effort to fight environmental deterioration, WWF is collaborating with a consortium of almost 40 universities and organisations to launch a research initiative that will explore the critical work of putting together the best ways to save the planet.
In the words of Marco Lambertini, “Today, we still have a choice. We can be the founders of a global movement that changed our relationship with the planet. Or we can be the generation that had its chance and failed to act. The choice is ours.”
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