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21 May, 2024
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70% less wildlife in the world in less than half a century

Latin America and the Caribbean have experienced a 94% population decline

Kathimerini Greece Newsroom

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) reported a steep decline in the world's wildlife population in a report released last Thursday. The figures show a 69% drop from 1970 to 2018, a drop of less than half a century.

The average decline in wildlife populations was 69%, according to the Living Planet survey, which measures the abundance of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians. According to the report, the study looked at the abundance of nearly 32,000 population groups from 5,230 different species.

The most dramatic declines in wildlife occurred in Latin America and the Caribbean, where populations fell by 94%. Wildlife has declined by 66% in Africa, 55% in Asia and the Pacific, and 20% in North America. The figure was 18% in Europe and Central Asia.

Agriculture, hunting, deforestation, environmental pollution, and climate change are some of the threats to wildlife, according to WWF.

"If we do not limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, climate change is likely to be the primary driver of biodiversity loss in the coming decades," according to the report.

"This year's report findings are more alarming than ever," WWF Greece says, sounding the alarm.

"Today, we are called to confront two man-made challenges that are inextricably linked and directly threaten both current and future generations: the climate crisis and biodiversity loss," says WWF International Director General Marco Lambertini.

"With an ambitious global biodiversity agreement, leaders will have the opportunity to restore our relationship with the environment and create the right framework within which a healthier and more sustainable future for all can be developed," he added.

"Once again, the data from this year's Living Planet report clearly and numerically illustrate alarming facts and figures about what is happening to our planet right now and sound an alarm for the immediate future, if measures are not taken urgently and at different levels to halt the double crisis we are experiencing in biodiversity and climate," said Panagiota Marangou, Head of Environmental Protection Programmes at WWF Hellas.  "The upcoming COP15 will determine the future of our planet and we hope this year's edition of WWF will inspire and mobilize world leaders to become part of this positive change that the environment needs." 

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

Cyprus  |  wildlife  |  environment  |  animals

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