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WWF: Biodiversity On Earth Can Be Restored No Earlier Than 2070

WWF: Biodiversity On Earth Can Be Restored No Earlier Than 2070

More than two-thirds of the animal world has been destroyed by humans over the past 50 years, according to the new World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report "Living planet 2020."

Since 1970, vertebrate populations, including birds and fish, have declined by 68 percent on Earth. The reason is global economic growth and extensive farming, which lead to the destruction of habitats of living organisms, climate change, the disappearance of forests, and polluting the waters of the world's oceans.

According to WWF CEO Marco Lambertini, the negative trend has increased over the past years. So, if in 2016 the documented decrease in the population was 60 percent, then just four years later this figure reaches almost 70 percent.

A special feature of the organization's report was the publication of models of future developments. It is estimated that if enhanced conservation measures are combined with a transition to a sustainable economy, the world will be able to return to the level of biological diversity in 2010 by 2070.

In May, the European Commission presented a plan to support biological diversity, according to DW. It provides two strategies. Under the first one, it is proposed to implement measures such as turning at least 30 percent of all land and marine resources in Europe into protected zones by 2030. The second includes measures to improve the quality of food and the sustainability of food chains.

Globally, monitored population sizes of mammals, fish, birds, reptiles, and amphibians have declined an average of 68% between 1970 and 2016, according to World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) Living Planet Report 2020. Populations in Latin America and the Caribbean have fared worst, with an average decline of 94%. Global freshwater species have also been disproportionately impacted, declining 84% on average. As an important indicator of planetary health, these drastic species population trends signal a fundamentally broken relationship between humans and the natural world, the consequences of which—as demonstrated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic—can be catastrophic.

At a time when the world is reeling from the deepest global disruption and health crisis of a lifetime, this year’s Living Planet Report provides unequivocal and alarming evidence that nature is unravelling and that our planet is flashing red warning signs of vital natural systems failure. The Living Planet Report 2020 clearly outlines 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.

This highlights that a deep cultural and systemic shift is urgently needed, one that so far our civilisation has failed to embrace: a transition to a society and economic system that values nature, stops taking it for granted and recognises that we depend on nature

more than nature depends on us.

This is about rebalancing our relationship with the planet to preserve the Earth’s amazing diversity of life and enable a just, healthy and prosperous society – and ultimately to ensure our own survival.

Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in millions of years. The way we produce and consume food and energy, and the blatant disregard for the environment entrenched in our current economic model, has pushed the natural world to its limits.

COVID-19 is a clear manifestation of our broken relationship with nature. It has highlighted the deep interconnection between nature, human health and well-being, and how unprecedented biodiversity loss threatens the health of both people and the planet.

It is time we answer nature’s SOS. Not just to secure the future of tigers, rhinos, whales, bees, trees and all the amazing diversity of life we love and have the moral duty to coexist with, but because ignoring it also puts the health, well-being and prosperity, indeed the future, of nearly 8 billion people at stake.

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