Beijing: About two-thirds of the world`s population will be located in urban areas by 2050, creating serious implications for the conservation of natural resources, according to the 2012 edition of the Nature`s Living Planet Report.
The report, released by the Beijing branch of the World Wild Fund (WWF) on Tuesday, said increasing demand for natural resources by a growing population is putting tremendous pressure on the planet`s diversity.
The report used the global Living Planet Index to assess the planet`s ecosystems by tracking more than 9,000 populations of more than 2,688 species.
Global diversity is declining at an astonishing speed, with the global Living Planet Index decreasing by 28 percent from 1970 to 2008, said Li Lin, deputy representative of the WWF`s Beijing office.
The report outlined 16 "favorable actions" to reverse the trend, including improving consumption patterns, constructing legal and political frameworks and providing equal access to food, water and energy.
The report also indicated that declines in biodiversity since 1970 have been most rapid in low-income countries, demonstrating how the poorest and most vulnerable nations are subsidizing the lifestyles of wealthier countries.
"We are living as if we have an extra planet at our disposal. We are using 50 percent more resources that the Earth can sustainably produce," said Jim Leape, director-general of WWF International.
Unless we change course, the number will grow even more rapidly, Leape added.
The report was launched five weeks before the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), which will be held in Rio De Janeiro .
"Rio+20 can and must be the moment for governments to set a new course towards sustainability," Leape said.