Dr Sam Gardner, acting director of WWF Scotland, said: "The same sad story is to be seen played out across Scotland, where habitat loss and climate change are combining to threaten our precious wildlife". Tropical areas have experienced the worst declines, with an 89 per cent fall in populations monitored in Latin America and the Caribbean since 1970. In this landmark anniversary edition, 20 years after its original publication, the Living Planet Report 2018 provides a platform for the best science, cutting-edge research and diverse voices on the impact of humans on the health of our Earth, with inputs from more than 50 experts from academia, policy, global development and conservation organizations across the world. The report is a warning that signifies that humanity's expanding greed for resources would suffice the extension of the wildlife. Species highlighted include African elephants, which declined in number in Tanzania by 60 percent in just five years between 2009 and 2014, mainly due to ivory poaching. Globally, nature provides services worth around US$125 trillion a year, while also helping ensure the supply of fresh air, clean water, food, energy, medicines and other products and materials.
The Living Planet Report emphasizes that biodiversity is "not just "nice to have" but also essential for human survival and well-being.
"We are the first generation to know we are destroying our planet and the last that can do anything about it", said Tanya Steele, the chief executive of the WWF. Reduction and disappearance of wetlands, he said, was a serious concern for India.
Wildlife declines are more pronounced in certain areas. It is rivers and lakes where the damage is being felt the most, where populations of wildlife have fallen by as much as 83pc. "Again there is this direct link between the food system and the depletion of wildlife", said Barrett. But all indicators, from extinction rates to intactness of ecosystems, show colossal losses.
WWF International Director General Marco Lambertini said the impact of unsustainable production models and wasteful lifestyles could not be ignored any longer. The WWF has urged the 196 member nations of the Convention on Biological Diversity to consider a range of targets when they meet in Egypt in late November.
Despite the sobering news, the 75-page report takes an optimistic tone, encouraging world leaders and citizens to create "a new global deal for nature and people", similar to the Paris Climate Agreement.
We are in the midst of a scary phenomenon right now being called "the Great Acceleration".