The latest WWF’s Living Planet Report 2012 shows that we’re putting huge pressure on wildlife – and threatening our own future well-being.
The report, which measures the health of 9,014 populations of more than 2,600 species, reveals a 30% decline in the health of species since 1970. And it shows that we’re consuming 50% more natural resources globally than our planet can sustainably produce.
Freshwater creatures in the tropics have seen the worst declines, of around 70%, while tropical species as a whole have seen populations tumble by 60% since 1970.
In Asia, tiger numbers have fallen 70% in just 30 years.
Here in the UK, we’re not making enough progress to control how much we consume. Since the last report’s country-by-country analysis in 2010, the UK’s position has worsened. We’re now the 27th largest per capita consumer.
The report also identifies stark differences in what’s happening in high and low income countries. The ecological footprint (how much natural resources people use) of a high-income country such as the USA is currently five times greater than that of a low-income country such as Indonesia. And yet, the report shows that declines in wildlife are highest in low-income countries.
David Nussbaum, CEO of WWF-UK, says: “ If we continue to use up our planet’s resources faster than it can replace them, soon we’ll have exploited every available corner of the Earth.”
The LPR report is published every two years, and is produced in collaboration with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the Global Footprint Network.