Living Planet Report 2020

The Living Planet Report 2020 is being published at a time of global upheaval, yet its key message is something that has not changed in decades: nature – our life-support system – is declining at a staggering rate. As the health of people and that of our planet are increasingly intertwined; the devastating forest fires of the past year and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have made this undeniable. The Bending the Curve modelling shows that, with transformational change, the tide of biodiversity loss can be turned. It will take a global, collective effort; that increased conservation efforts are key, along with changes in how food and energy is produced and consumed. Citizens, governments and business leaders around the globe will need to be part of a movement for change with a scale, urgency and ambition never seen before.

Among the most notable indicators of anthropogenic pressures is The Living Planet Index (LPI), that now tracks the abundance of almost 21,000 populations of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians around the world. The 94% decline in the LPI for the tropical subregions of the Americas is the most striking result observed in any region. The conversion of grasslands, savannahs, forests and wetlands, the overexploitation of species, climate change, and the introduction of alien species are key drivers. Beside sthis, Freshwater Living Planet Index has declined by an average of 84% (range: -89% to -77%), equivalent to 4% per year since 1970. In addition to this, an assessment of a sample of thousands of species representing the taxonomic and geographic breadth of global plant diversity showed that one in five (22%) are threatened with extinction, most of them in the tropics

Only an integrated approach, combining ambitious conservation with measures targeting the drivers of habitat conversion – such as sustainable production or consumption interventions, or preferably both – will succeed in bending the curve of biodiversity loss.

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