The costs of consumption

Dispatches from a planet in decline

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  • Published 20190205
  • ISBN: 9781925773408
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

LAST OCTOBER, THE World Wildlife Fund for Nature released the 2018 Living Planet Report. Published biennially since 1998, the report offers a comprehensive overview of ecosystems and biodiversity worldwide.

As it has for the past decade or so, the report leads with a series of statistics that ram home the scale of the destruction humans are wreaking upon the planet. Since 1970, vertebrate animal populations have declined by an average of 60 per cent. These declines are most pronounced in tropical regions, in particular South and Central America, where populations have declined by a staggering 89 per cent, and India and the Asia-Pacific region (which includes Australia), where populations have declined by 64 per cent, but sub-Saharan Africa has also seen decline of 56 per cent. North Africa, Europe and North Asia fared better, with declines of 31 per cent, as did North America, where the decline was 23 per cent. Likewise different environments showed different levels of decline; hardest hit were freshwater environments, which showed average population declines of 83 per cent.

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