The Living Planet Report 2020 is out and it brings a shocking revelation. According to the report, 68% of wildlife have died in just the last 50 years. That’s over two-thirds of the wildlife population.
Over the history of Earth, this type of population decline has not happened in millions of years. The biggest loss comes from Latin America and the Caribean, which experienced a 94% drop in wildlife populations.
However, the cause is very clear: human activity.
Humans have changed 75% of the Earth’s land that is not covered in ice and have even changed the climate of the planet with its emissions. Wildlife can simply not cope with these changes.
Extinction Threatens Over 1 Million Species
The decline is nowhere near done, and we’ve reached a point that over 1 million species are at risk of extinction. This includes over 500,000 animals and plants, and 500,000 insects. These species are unlikely to see the end of the century.
Emissions reached record levels in 2019 and the only reason 2020 will not surpass it is because of the COVID-19 lockdown.
However, emissions are only one problem.
Even if that was fixed overnight, the amount of land and resources humans use is more than the planet can sustain. The report found that humans currently exceed the Earth’s biocapacity by a whopping 56%.
It’s only a matter of time until humanity will face the same fate.
Hope Is Not Lost for Wildlife
While the report found some truly horrific data, it still found that this downward trend can be stopped. And not only that, but it can be reversed.
However, it requires immediate and drastic action taken on a global scale.
Unfortunately, it is unlikely that the necessary steps would be taken to protect the biodiversity of the planet in the necessary time frame, but the possibility is there.
We simply need to act on it.