A shocking report released by the WWF drums home the horrendous impact human activity has on Planet Earth.
Humans, in one form or another have been around for over 2 million years but just in the last 44 years, we have caused a mass extinction of our fellow earthlings.
Earth lost nearly 60% of its mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians between 1970 and 2014, almost entirely due to human activity. This rate of killing can only be compared to mass extinction events that have occurred throughout history, such as the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs.
The WWF publish the report every two years and documents the state of the planet in terms of biodiversity, the demand on natural resources, and its impact on the environment and wildlife.
The results from the 2018 report are even more devastating than ever:
- 20% of the Amazon has disappeared in just 50 years
- On a global scale, the area of minimally disturbed forests declined by 92 million hectares between 2000 and 2013
- Of all species that have gone extinct since 1500 AD, 75% were harmed by overexploitation or agriculture
- Ocean acidification may be occurring at a rate not seen in at least 300 million years. The
- Earth is estimated to have lost 50% of its shallow water corals in the past 30 years
- Humans are responsible for releasing 100 billion tonnes of carbon into the Earth’s system every 10 years. In April 2018, levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached an average of 410 parts per million (ppm) across the entire month–the highest level in at least 800,000 years
- Only 25% of land on Earth is substantively free of the impacts of human activities. This is projected to decline to just 10% by 2050
Nature isn’t just something nice to look at, or just a ‘nice thing to have’. Given our reliance on natural resources, it’s imperative for our survival.
A global deal for nature and people
WWF is calling for a new global deal between nature and people. Together with conservation and science colleagues around the world, they are trying to make a difference and push for policy changes to protect out world.
They have teamed up with a group of almost 40 universities and organisations in the hope of launching a huge research initiative that will innovate and explore critical ways of saving the planet.
The report states that humanity’s biggest challenge is the need to completely revolutionize way of thinking and our approach to caring for our planet. Remember, protecting nature also helps protect people.
In the words of Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF International:
“Today, we still have a choice. We can be the founders of a global movement that changed our relationship with the planet. Or we can be the generation that had its chance and failed to act. The choice is ours.”
Read the full report here.