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Living Planet Report 2008

29 October 2008

Note: find out about the 2010 Living Planet Report here

The 2008 edition of the WWF Living Planet Report reveals a planet in environmental crisis. Only urgent action to curb our rampant consumption can prevent ecological recession sliding into irreversible breakdown.

At a time of global financial crisis, which has caused so much worry for all of us, it’s been hard to think about much else. And yet, the publication of the WWF Living Planet Report – the internationally respected statement on the health of the planet – is a timely reminder that we can’t ignore the worsening ecological ‘credit crunch’ our planet now faces.

Demand for resources now exceeds the planet's capacity to replenish its ‘natural capital’ by about 30%. If global consumption continues at the same rate, by the mid-2030s we will need the equivalent of two planets to maintain our lifestyles.

In addition, the new report shows that populations of nearly 1,700 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish have declined on average by nearly 30% since 1970. The situation is particularly bleak in tropical regions, where the average fall is 51%.

The report also highlights that the availability of fresh water is of increasing concern, with some 50 countries now experiencing either seasonal or permanent shortages.

These extremely disappointing downward trends stem from a growing human population’s increasing ‘footprint’: our rampant consumption of resources such as timber and paper, water, energy, agricultural crops, meat and dairy products, fish and seafood, and land for infrastructure – as well as the impacts associated with disposing of waste products.

See the 2010 Living Planet Report

Living Planet Report 2008

Polar bear mother and her cub in the Arctic

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Living Planet Report 2008