According to the Living Planet Report 2020, from the conservation group WWF, wildlife populations have fallen by more than two-thirds in less than 50 years.
Described as a 'catastrophic decline' the sad news is that it’s all down to us. The human race.
With the report stating the there’s no sign of the decline abating as we continue to see over-fishing, deforestation and increasing temperatures causing wildfires across the globe.
The report concluded an average 68% fall in more than 20,000 populations of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish since 1970.
Dr Andrew Terry, director of conservation at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), which provides the data states: "If nothing changes, populations will undoubtedly continue to fall, driving wildlife to extinction and threatening the integrity of the ecosystems on which we depend".
As if we weren’t already aware, we need action and we need it now.
We’re all in this
We are living in the age of humans, the Anthropocene, where our actions (and habits) have caused massive changes to our planet with negative effect (global warming, ocean acidification and habitat destruction).
We’ve seen an unprecedented pandemic with COVID-19 but we can’t forget that the Earth's ecology is also in an unprecedented critical state.
We know what is happening. We know what needs to be done.
We need to stop, and even reverse habitat loss and deforestation, by taking urgent conservation action and changing the way we produce and consume food, energy and other materials.
Naturalist Sir David Attenborough says,"Doing so will require systemic shifts in how we produce food, create energy, manage our oceans and use materials".
He continues, "But above all it will require a change in perspective. A change from viewing nature as something that's optional or 'nice to have' to the single greatest ally we have in restoring balance to our world."
What can we do to help?
Firstly, we need to transform the way we produce and consume food and energy, reducing waste and having a lower environmental impact. Conservation actions alone won’t stop the continued decline.
We need to grow the circular economy across all sectors. Now is the time to build back better. Whilst there may be a looming global employment crisis, we need to look at the areas where we can make a difference.
We need to promote sustainable solutions in the workplace; from building cleaner/greener communities, to using software development to tracklifecycle carbon, energy and costs for architectural projects, to low carbon investment and SRI, to sustainability marketing greening all comms to ensure the message actually gets through to people – consistently.
One thing is for sure, if we love the planet and the myriad of species that live with us on it, we cannot keep doing what we’re doing and let a million species become extinct within a matter of decades.