Wildlife Conservation Efforts

Living Planet Report 2022: Wildlife populations decline by 69% in 50 years


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Living Planet Report, Index

Mains level: Not Much

There has been a 69 per cent decline in the wildlife populations of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish, across the globe in the last 50 years, according to the latest Living Planet Report by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

What is Living Planet Report?

  • The Living Planet Report is published every 2 years by the World Wide Fund for Nature since 1998.
  • It is based on the Living Planet Index and ecological footprint calculations.
  • The report is the world’s leading, science-based analysis, on the health of our planet and the impact of human activity.

Issues raised by various versions of the report

  • The 2018 report found a “decline of 60% in population sizes” of vertebrate species overall from 1970 to 2014.
  • The tropics of South and Central America had an 89% loss compared to 1970.
  • The 2018 report calls for new goals post-2020 alongside those of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • The 2020 report says systemic changes are necessary to stop the destruction of global wildlife populations, including a complete overhaul of food production and consumption industries.
  • The 2022 report found that vertebrate wildlife populations have declined by an average of almost 70% since 1970, and attributes the loss primarily to agriculture and fishing.

What is the Living Planet Index (LPI)?

  • The Living Planet Index (LPI) is a measure of the state of the world’s biological diversity based on population trends of vertebrate species from terrestrial, freshwater and marine habitats.
  • The LPI was adopted by the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) as an indicator of progress towards its 2011-2020 targets.
  • It can play an important role in monitoring progress towards the post-2020 goals and targets negotiated at COP15 this December.
Features of the LPI Common misconceptions
The LPI is shows the average rate of change in animal population sizes The LPI doesn’t show numbers of species lost or extinctions, although some populations do decline to local extinction
Species and populations in the LPI show increasing, declining and stable trends Not all species and populations in the LPI are in decline
About half of the species we have in the LPI show an average decline in population trend The LPI statistic does not mean that 69 per cent of species or populations are declining
The average change in population size in the LPI is a decline of 69 per cent The LPI statistic does not mean that 69% populations or individual animals have been lost
The LPI represents the monitored populations included in the index The LPI doesn’t necessarily represent trends in other populations, species or biodiversity as a whole
The LPI includes data for threatened and non-threatened species – if it’s monitored consistently over time, it goes in! The species in the LPI are not selected based on whether they are under threat, but as to whether there is robust population trend data available



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