Biodiversity suffers as resource use increases

More than a quarter of the world’s biodiversity has been lost in the last 35 years according to a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report, compiled by the Zoological Society London (ZSL).

The Living Planet Index (LPI), which tracks nearly 4,000 populations of 241 fish, 83 amphibian, 40 reptile, 811 bird and 302 mammal species, shows an overall fall in population trends of 27% between 1970 and 2005. Marine species, such as swordfish and scalloped hammerhead fell by 28% between 1995 and 2005, while Seabird populations suffered a rapid decline of about 30%.

The declines are due to human activity such as habitat destruction, pollution, overexploitation such as fishing, the spread of invasive species and climate change.

With the majority of the worlds nations set to gather in Bonn next week for the latest meeting of the Convention of Biological Diversity – an international treaty that aims to sustain the diversity of life on Earth – The WWF’s report shows that the target to ‘significantly’ reduce biodiversity loss by 2010 is not going to be achieved.

In addition, the Global Ecological Footprint is presented in this report. This is a measure of the productive capacity of the biosphere used to provide natural resources and absorb wastes. Humanity’s footprint was equivalent to about half of the Earth’s biologically productive capacity in 1961, but grew to a level 25 per cent above it in 2003. Leading the table is USA requiring nearly 10 global hectares per person. In 14th lies the UK with 5.5 global hectares per person.

Visit here to download the WWF report. Please use the comments field to start a discussion on the findings, it would be nice to hear what you think.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s