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Living Planet Index / Living Planet Report 2020

Nature is our ALLY not our ENEMY

The Living Planet Index (LPI) data tells us how species are faring, by measuring trends in 20,811 monitored populations of 4,392 vertebrate species. The results of the global LPI are published biennially with the latest the Living Planet Report 2020 being published on 10th September.

Headlines:

The LPI shows an average 68% decrease in population sizes of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish between 1970 and 2016. A 94% decline in the LPI for the tropical subregions of the Americas is the largest fall observed in any part of the world.

In the words of Marco Lambertini, Director General WWF International.

"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."

Until 1970, humanity’s Ecological Footprint was smaller than the Earth’s rate of regeneration. To feed and fuel our 21st century lifestyles, we are overusing the Earth’s biocapacity by at least 56%.

Its not just the well-known species in the story of biodiversity decline, but what of the millions of tiny, or as-yet-undiscovered, species that are also under threat?
What is happening to the life in our soils, or in plant and insect diversity?
All of these provide fundamental support for life on Earth and are showing signs of stress.

Where and how we produce food is one of the biggest human-caused threats to nature and our ecosystems, making the transformation of our global food system more important than ever.

We can estimate the value of ‘natural capital’ – the planet’s stock of renewable and non-renewable natural resources, like plants, soils and minerals – alongside values of produced and human capital – for example, roads and skills – which together form a measure of a country’s true wealth.
But too few of our economic and financial decision-makers know how to interpret what we are hearing, or, even worse, they choose not to tune in at all.

This evidence shows that biodiversity conservation is more than an ethical commitment for humanity: it is a non-negotiable and strategic investment to preserve our health, wealth and security.

See the World Wildlife Fund's and Zoological Society of London links for coverage or the report in full.

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