The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) yesterday published the 2020 Living Planet Report which warns of an average 68% decline in the population sizes of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish between 1970 and 2016.
This trend is worse for the tropical subregions of the Americas where the ‘Living Planet Index’ shows a decline of 94%.
The Living Planet Index (LPI) has tracked almost 21,000 populations of more than 4,000 vertebrate species since 1970. The report shows that the main cause of the observed decline in species populations on land is habitat loss and degradation, including deforestation.
The report also uses models to show how it is possible to “bend the curve” of biodiversity loss and begin recovery by 2050. This would require large efforts to restore degraded land and protection of 40% of global terrestrial areas. Simultaneously, changes to the way we produce food would be needed, including reduced food waste, diets that have a lower environmental impact, and further sustainable intensification and trade.