Communicating biodiversity trends
Communicating and interpreting the Living Planet Index (LPI) is an essential component of this project and fundamental to the usefulness of the LPI as a biodiversity indicator.
Whether we live on the edge of the forest or in the heart of the city, our livelihoods and indeed our lives depend on the service provided by the Earth’s natural systems. Over-consumption is depleting the world’s natural capital to a point where we are endangering our future prosperity, and the Living Planet Index shows that over the past 38 years alone we have lost nearly one third of the Earth’s ecological capital.
Through publications such as the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and the United Nations Global Biodiversity Outlook, the LPI is used to inform policy makers on global trends in biodiversity.
National and regional reports are now being produced to focus on relevant issues at a smaller scale and to help monitor a country’s progress towards both national and international targets.
Living Planet Report
The results of the LPI are also published biennially in the Living Planet Report, which acts as a tool to communicate global biodiversity trends to a wide audience.
The 2010 edition of WWF’s Living Planet Report shows populations of tropical species are plummeting and humanity’s demands on natural resources are sky-rocketing to 50 per cent more than the earth can sustain. The biennial report, produced in collaboration with the Zoological Society of London and the Global Footprint Network, uses the global Living Planet Index as a measure of the health of almost 8,000 populations of more than 2,500 species.
The good news is that temperate species have increased by 29 per cent over the last 40 years. This is probably indicative of a gradual recovery of some systems subsequent to a long period of degradation and decline. Overall the global Index shows a decrease by 30 per cent since 1970, with the tropics hardest hit showing a 60 per cent decline in less than 40 years.
Click here (70 KB) to download the results from the 2010 Living Planet Report.