Polity News, 18 May 2012
An ever-growing demand for resources by a growing population is putting tremendous pressures on our planet’s biodiversity and is threatening South Africa’s future security, health and well-being. That’s according to the 2012 edition of WWF’s Living Planet Report (LPR) – the leading biennial survey of the Earth’s health.
“We are living as if we have an extra planet at our disposal. We are using 50% more resources than the Earth can sustainably produce and unless we change course, that number will grow fast – by 2030 even two planets will not be enough,” said Dr Morné du Plessis, CEO of WWF South Africa (WWF-SA).
The LPR uses the global Living Planet Index (LPI) to measure changes in the health of the planet’s ecosystems by tracking 9,000 populations of more than 2,600 species. The global Index shows almost a 30% decrease since 1970, with the tropics the hardest hit – where there has been a 60% decline in less than 40 years. Just as biodiversity is on a downward trend, the Earth’s Ecological Footprint, one of the other key indicators used in the report, illustrates how our demand on natural resources has become unsustainable.
The difference between rich and poor countries is also underlined in the report. High income countries have an Ecological Footprint on average five times that of low-income countries.
To read more and download report click here