• Hithesh Jain

Global Species population down by 68% in five decades

Riya Pachouri

1st November 2020

International- The Living Planet report of 2020 published by the World Wildlife Fund revealed the catastrophic destruction humans have caused to the global species. 68 per cent of the global species have been wiped out in just five decades. The land being used for agricultural activities is responsible for 80 per cent of global deforestation. This also accounts for 70 per cent of freshwater usage.

The vast food system that requires such massive land use releases 29 per cent of global greenhouse gases. Such excessive land and water usage have killed 70 percent of terrestrial biodiversity and 50 per cent of freshwater biodiversity. Most species cannot survive under such hostile circumstances.

Impacts of food production on the environment (Source: The Living Planet Report 2020)

Humans have destroyed nature at an alarming rate and shows no sign of slowing down. “The way we produce and consume food and energy and the blatant disregard for the environment entrenched in our current economic model, it has pushed the natural world to its limit," said Marco Lambertini — Director General of WWF international.

Recently, various disastrous events — wildfires, locust plagues, and the COVID-19 pandemic — have shaken the roots of the world’s environmental conscience, ensuring that biodiversity conservation should be a non-negotiable and calculated investment to secure our health and wealth. “COVID-19 is a clear manifestation of a broken relationship with nature”, stated Marco Lambertini. The year 2020 was built as the ‘super year’ for biodiversity and environment, but most of the conferences have been pushed to the next year because of the international community's historic brunt of nature.

"We must — now and forever — redefine the relationship between people on the earth. To do this, we must embed sustainability into COVID-19 recovery," stated Inger Andersen, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the UN Environment program.

The infectious disease rates have increased dramatically in the past eight decades – and mostly half of them are connected to land-use change, agriculture, and the food industry. An estimated 60 percent of non-infectious diseases and up to 75 percent of new or emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic. "This reminds us how intertwined we are with nature and how the choices we make about our food systems and broader human-nature relations can have a ripple global impact," said Hollie Booth from the University of Oxford.

(Source- CBS News)

Edited by- Hithesh Jain

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