WWF Living Planet Report

The World Wildlife Federation is one of the largest conservation organizations with over 5 million supporters and a global network that spans over 100 countries. Its mission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. The WWF’s latest biannual Living Planet Report raises the alarm about the state of the world’s biological diversity.

(Transcript of Lawrence Gunther’s bi-weekly 12-minute segment on Live from Studio 5 broadcast over AMI TV and Audio across Canada)

Q. Welcome back Lawrence, just how bad a picture does this latest report from the WWF paint?

A. The Living Planet Report is a report card of sorts on the planet’s biodiversity abundance levels.
A. It does this by measuring 16,704 populations of 4,005 vertebrate species across the globe.
A. The 2018 Report concludes there is an overall decline of wildlife of 60% since 1970.

Q. Are we humans solely to blame for this downward slide, or is it yet another report highlighting our need to do something about climate change?

A. Without doubt, climate change is playing a growing role and is beginning to have an effect at an ecosystem, species and even genetic level
A. However, in every category, over exploitation and agriculture are sighted as the big killers.

Q. What do the authors of the WWF’s report recommend we do to reverse and repair the harm we already caused?

A. What the WWF is recommending may not sound like rocket science.
A. They advocate that we conserve the world’s biological diversity by using renewable natural resources sustainably, reduce the amount we pollute, and end wasteful consumption.
A. Sounds simple enough, but think about how each of us can put this into practice, and that’s where the rubber tree hits the pavement.
A. In reality, it will require we re-think our entire built system to be more sustainable, which means major changes to production, supply and consumption.

Q. If we were to turn things around, could nature recover?

A. Yes, I think so. Nature is always in a state of ecosystem renewal. It’s called bio capacity.
A. The biologically productive areas of land and water provide a service that, if we manage our extraction processes accordingly, can provide much of what we require to survive now and for future generations.
A. It’s not about protecting nature from human contact. It’s about making sure we live in a symbiotic relationship with nature, and that includes the sustainable harvest and use of nature’s bounty.
A. Biodiversity is essential for our health, well being, food and security, as well as the stability of economic and political systems worldwide.