Wildlife could decline by two-thirds by 2020: Study
Global wildlife populations could decline by two-thirds by 2020, a new report said on Thursday as it placed India fifth in terms of capacity to produce renewable resources and absorb spillover wastes like carbon dioxide.
The report said food production to meet demands of growing human population was the “primary” factor responsible for the destruction of habitats and over-exploitation of wildlife.
It said despite the low personal carbon footprint of Indians, it is a “challenge” when aggregated by population size and predicted that the equation will be further affected as wealth grows.
“Global wildlife populations could decline by an average of 67 per cent between 1970-2020 as a result of human activities. Global populations of birds, mammals, amphibians, fish and reptiles have already declined by 58 per cent between 1970 and 2012, the most recent year with available data.
“This places the world on a trajectory of a potential two-thirds decline within a span of the half-century ending in 2020,” WWF’s Living Planet Report 2016 said while highlighting the magnitude of human impact on the planet and the changes needed in the way society is fed and fuelled.
The report said just as human demand on nature varies among countries, nature’s biocapacity--ecosystem’s capacity to produce resources such as food, fibre and renewable raw materials and absorb spillover wastes like carbon dioxide--is unevenly distributed.
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