LIVING PLANET REPORT 2020 | WWF Malaysia

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LIVING PLANET REPORT 2020

© naturepl.com / Edwin Giesbers / WWF

2020 has been the year that forced us to stop. A global pandemic, extreme weather, forest fires.
And the Living Planet Report 2020 shows that our relationship with nature is broken – but we know what needs to be done if we’re going to turn it around.

There’s no time to waste. We must take action now if nature is going to recover.

THE LIVING PLANET INDEX

The population sizes of mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles have seen an alarming average drop of 68% since 1970.


“THE LIVING PLANET REPORT 2020 UNDERLINES HOW HUMANITY’S INCREASING DESTRUCTION OF NATURE IS HAVING CATASTROPHIC IMPACTS NOT ONLY ON WILDLIFE POPULATIONS BUT ALSO ON HUMAN HEALTH AND ALL ASPECTS OF OUR LIVES.”

MARCO LAMBERTINI,
DIRECTOR GENERAL, WWF INTERNATIONAL

© WWF

ASIA - PACIFIC

The Asia-Pacific region is hugely diverse and has many unique ecosystems.

Species populations monitored in the Asia-Pacific region have steadily decreased on average since 1970. However, there have been some positive signs since 2010 with increases in a few species of reptiles and amphibians.Other species however have seen an average decline of 45%. Pollution is one of the main causes contributing to this decline.

EUROPE - CENTRAL ASIA

The Europe-Central Asia region has one of the highest consumption footprints of any of the region. It also exceeds its biocapacity - the natural supply of nature’s resources and services - by the largest amount.

However, the 24% average decline in populations here between 1970-2016 is smaller than any other region, partly thanks to successful conservation. However, it’s worth noting that this doesn’t mean things are ‘fine’ across the region - Eastern European populations in particular have not fared as well.

AFRICA

The region of Africa is very rich in biodiversity and is the only remaining region on earth to have significant numbers of large mammals. The goods and services that Africa’s biodiversity provide are important, not only for 62% of rural populations, but also for the rest of Africa and the world.

However, the data shows that abundance in the region has fallen by 65% on average between 1970 and 2016. Invasive species and disease pose a big threat, alongside overexploitation - particularly of fish and mammals; over 35% of the monitored populations for these two groups have declined.

LATIN AMERICA & THE CARIBBEAN

The decline across Latin America and The Caribbean is far greater than that of any other observed region. This is due to a range of factors, including the conversion of grasslands, savannas, forests and wetlands, the overexploitation of species, climate change, and the introduction of alien species.

The biggest declines are among populations of fish, reptiles, amphibians. For freshwater fish this is mostly due to overexploitation, for reptiles it is also due to habitat loss and for amphibians disease is the biggest threat. In Panama for example, the chytrid fungus caused the extinction of 30 amphibian species.

NORTH AMERICA

The picture in North America, which has a huge amount and variety of flora and fauna, is more promising. After experiencing steady decline for several decades, things appear to have stabilised around the turn of the millennium. While the rate of decline is declining, we need continued monitoring to see whether the story is the same for all species.

VOICES FOR A LIVING PLANET

"We must recognise that if we have become powerful enough to change the entire planet then we are powerful enough to moderate our impact - to work with nature rather than against it."
Sir David Attenboroughs latest production is A Life on Our Planet, a feature documentary which he describe as hiw 'witness statement'.
"Just a click away is our capacity to connect and mobilise with millions of people from all around the world for causes that are bigger than ourselves."
Sara Constantino is a young environmental activist and social media influcencer from Columbia.
"Somehow we have lost it, the art of storytelling to connect people's hearts with nature. Instead we have told the stories from boardrooms and international conventions. We must use our pens and lens to promote the local voices"
Kiunde Waweru is a feature writer and media trainer who believes in humanizing the science story.

 

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