WWF has launched its Living Planet Report for 2016. This global report is produced every two years, and is a comprehensive study of trends in species populations and the health of the planet.
It aims to support governments, communities, businesses and organisations to make informed decisions on using and protecting the Earth’s resources.
The report reveals that, between 1970 and 2012 (which includes the most up to date peer reviewed data available), global vertebrate populations declined on average by 58%, and says that, if ‘business as usual’ continues, species populations could decline by as much as 67% from 1970 levels by 2020. This is the year by which global targets to halt the loss of biodiversity are supposed to be met. The report also gives additional evidence of what scientists are beginning to call the Anthropocene, a new geological epoch in which the size and scale of human activity are impacting our most important environmental systems at a planetary scale. Here’s a link to Will Steffen’s story of the development of the concept of the Anthropocene. You can download the report from www.wwf.org.uk/lpr
We think that this is a gloomy read, and will have more to say about it later this week.