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Living Planet Report 2022

Context:

According to the World Wide Fund for Nature’s Living Planet Report 2022, there has been a 69% drop in the number of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and fish worldwide over the past 50 years (WWF).

  • Every two years, this report is made available.

Relevance:

GS III: Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Key findings of the Report
  2. What is the Living Planet Index?
  3. About WWF
  4. Recommendations of the Report

Key findings of the Report

  • The region of Latin America and the Caribbean experienced the greatest drop in wildlife numbers (94%).
  • Populations of freshwater species have decreased by 83% worldwide.
    • About half of the hazards to the migratory fish species under observation were caused by habitat loss and obstructions to migration pathways.
  • The Living Planet Index (LPI) revealed that the world’s tropical regions are experiencing a particularly alarming rate of decline in vertebrate animal populations.
  • At a rate of 0.13% each year, mangroves are still being lost to aquaculture, agriculture, and coastal development.
    • In addition to natural stressors like storms and coastal erosion, many mangroves are also harmed by overuse and pollution.
  • WWF identified six key threats to biodiversity to highlight ‘threat hotspots’ for terrestrial vertebrates:
    • Agriculture
    • Hunting
    • Logging
    • Pollution
    • Invasive Species
    • Climate Change

What is the Living Planet Index?

  • It works as an indicator of biodiversity health. It measures the state of the world’s biological diversity based on the population trends of vertebrate species.
  • UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has adopted LPI as the indicator of progress towards the convention’s 2011-12 target to take actions to halt biodiversity loss.
    • Institute of Zoology (ZSL) manages the Living Planet Index.
What does the Living Planet Index not monitor?
  • The numbers of species lost or extinct
  • Percentage of species declining
  • Percentage of populations or individuals lost

About WWF:

  • It is an international non-governmental organization
  • It is the world’s largest conservation organization
  • Founded in 1961
  • Headquarter — Gland (Switzerland).
  • Aim : Wilderness preservation & the reduction of human impact on the environment
Objectives:
  • Conserving the world’s biological diversity
  • Ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable
  • Promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption

Recommendations of the Report

  • The planet is experiencing double emergencies of human-induced climate change and biodiversity loss, threatening the well-being of current and future generations. Biodiversity loss and climate crisis should be dealt with as one instead of two different issues as they are intertwined.
  • A nature-positive future needs transformative, game-changing shifts in how we produce, how we consume, how we govern and what we finance.
  • An all-inclusive collective approach towards a more sustainable path must be adopted. It will ensure that the costs and benefits from our actions are socially just and equitably shared.

-Source: Down to Earth


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December 2022
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