Wildlife in 'grave danger', biodiversity declined by 69% since 1970, warns WWF

Freshwater species populations have plunged by 83% on average since 1970 that accounts for the largest fall of any species group as per the Living Planet Report 2022.

Wildlife in 'grave danger', biodiversity declined by 69% since 1970, warns WWF Image credit: Pixabay

New Delhi: The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) reports have made alarming revelations about the huge loss of global biodiversity that has declined by 69% since 1970. According to the Living Planet Report 2022, human race is facing dual crises as there is biodiversity loss and climate change both of which are driven by the unsustainable use of resources available on the planet earth. Latin America shows the greatest regional decline in average population abundance (94%), as per the Living Planet report that was released by WWF on October 13, 2022.

A senior World Wildlife Fund (WWF) officials said that the alarming loss of species in Africa, fueled by climate change, unplanned development, and pollution, requires bold policy and legislative measures to reverse.

Loss of Biodiversity by 

One million plants and animals are threatened with extinction. 1- 2.5% of birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fish have already gone extinct, stated the report. According to the Living Planet report, regionally Latin America has suffered the largest decline, with 94% followed by Africa - at 66%, Asia Pacific at 55%, North America at 20%, and Europe-Central Asia at 18%.

The 2022 edition of Living Planet Report revealed that Africa`s wildlife population fell by 66 percent between 1970 and 2018, thanks to poaching, climatic shocks, and degradation of their natural habitats.

However, the report pointed to positive trends in central Africa where the population of mountain gorillas increased from 408 in 2010 to 604 in 2015 thanks to enhanced conservation measures.

Speaking during the virtual launch of WWF`s flagship Living Planet Report 2022 in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital on Thursday, Alice Ruhweza, Africa Regional Director, WWF-International said that African countries required greater financing and policy shift to hasten nature-positive growth.

Ruhweza added that mining activities, poaching, industrial farming, and urbanisation had worsened the loss of Africa`s flagship species, to the detriment of green growth, denoting that enhanced conservation of biodiversity hotspots will boost the continent`s fight against poverty, hunger, and climate-induced water stress.

She called upon African governments to lobby for the adoption of a more inclusive and ambitious framework to protect planetary resources during the global biodiversity summit slated for Montreal, Canada, from December 7 to 19, Xinhua news agency reported.

Jackson Kiplagat, the Head of Conservation Programs at WWF-Kenya said that reversing habitat loss in Africa was possible subject to innovative financing towards conservation, law enforcement, and greater community engagement.