Living Planet Report 2012
The 2012 Living Planet Report describes alarming trends both in terms of global biodiversity and the global ecological footprint amongst other indicators.
Global biodiversity is measured using the Living Planet Index (LPI), which describes trends in vertebrate populations. The LPI has declined globally by 30% since 1970 and more worryingly in the tropics there has been an even greater decline of 60%. See Figures below.
The global ecological footprint index measures the area of biologically productive land and water required to provide the renewable resources that people use, for example agriculture and carbon sequestration. The world population is currently using resources at a rate equivalent to what one and a half earths could supply, a trend which only seems likely to increase.
Biodiversity and functioning ecosystems can essentially be seen as the life support systems that allow life on earth to continue. At present, human demands for food, water, energy and materials are leading to these resources being overexploited. The report also outlines how we can begin to think about solutions to this problem. Ultimately we need to make better decisions about our lives and find a more sustainable way to live within the earth’s means.
The Living Planet Report is a collaboration between WWF, ZSL, GFN and ESA.
Find more details and download a copy of the report here WWF Living Planet Report