According to the report, only 25% of the Earth’s ice-free land is still seen as ‘wilderness’, with 75% having been dramatically altered for the sake of human consumption. The population sizes of species have suffered as a result of human-induced climate change for decades. However, the rate of biodiversity loss is increasing. Many of the driving forces – such as deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions and illegal wildlife trading – are also linked to the increased likelihood of pandemic diseases, much like COVID-19.
The Director General of WWF, Marco Lambertini, has said that the recent Living Planet Report shows “how humanity’s increasing destruction of nature is having catastrophic impacts not only on wildlife populations but also on human health and all aspects of our lives”.
However, with more sustainable agriculture, economic and energy systems, we may just be able to restore the planet’s ecosystems and protect its wildlife.
The full Living Planet Report 2020 and a summary version are available at: https://livingplanet.panda.org/en-us/