What is Living Planet Report?
The Living Planet Report 2018 is the latest comprehensive survey of the health of our planet. The Report shows that globally; populations of fish, birds, mammals amphibians and reptiles have declined in number by 60% on average between 1970 and 2014.
Indeed, human impact on our planet is astonishing, alarming in fact; but amid the hard-hitting facts and the even harsher reality, there is a small but definite window of opportunity. As the world prepares to review its progress on sustainable development and the environment, in 2020 we have an opportunity to bend the curve to devastating nature loss.
What is biogeographic realm?
Nature is changing in different ways in different parts of the world known as biogeographic realms. These biogeographic realms are named as Nearctic, Neotropics, Palearctic, Afrotropics and Indo-Pacific. These are large areas of the earth separated by nature barriers such as oceans, deserts and mountains. Species populations have negative average trends in all of these regions but declines are especially pronounced in the Neotropics (-89%) , Afrotropics (-56%) and Indo-Pacific (-56%). Globally, monitored freshwater populations are the most affected declining by 83% on average since 1970%.
What is causing these trends?
The most common threat to species population is the loss and degradation of habitats. Other threats include species over exploitation such as unsustainable harvesting, hunting or poaching. Pollution can directly affect species by making the environment unsuitable for their survival. Invasive species can compete with native species for resources, predate on them or spread diseases that were not present in the environment before. Climate change is also increasingly identified as a threat to animal populations.
What needs to be done?
It is time for a new ‘Global Deal for Nature and People’, one that recognizes the intrinsic link between the health of nature, the well-being of people and the future of our planet. For too long, we have taken nature for granted, culturally, economically and politically. But this needs to stop now.
We need to aim higher and take action to protect and restore our life support systems to bend the curve of biodiversity loss. There cannot be a healthy society or economy on a degraded planet. We can do this, but it is urgent and the time to act is now.