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A warning sign from our planet: Nature needs life support

The Living Planet Report 2018 shows that wildlife populations have declined by over half in less than 50 years. 

Plummeting numbers of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and fish around the world are an urgent sign that nature needs life support. Our Living Planet Report 2018 shows population sizes of wildlife decreased by 60% globally between 1970 and 2014.  

For the last 20 years, scientists from ZSL, WWF and other organisations, have been monitoring changes in the populations of thousands of animal species around the world. Sadly, they’ve concluded that the variety of life on Earth and wildlife populations is disappearing fast.   

Humans have only been around for 200,000 years, a tiny blip in the 4.5 billion years of our planet’s history. Yet we have had a greater impact on the Earth than any other species. All over the world, we are cutting down forests, using too much water from rivers, choking our oceans with plastic and pushing many animals to extinction. 

For both people and wildlife to thrive, now and in the future, we need a healthy planet, with a rich variety of plants and animals and vibrant ecosystems.  

Current efforts to protect nature are not ambitious enough to match the scale of the threat our planet is facing. We are calling for a new global deal for nature and people to halt wildlife decline and tackle deforestation, climate change and plastic pollution, backed by concrete commitments from global leaders and businesses to tackle wildlife loss, climate change and development in an integrated way. 

To stop the decline of the natural systems that support us and all other animals on the planet, we need real change, all over the world. The challenge we face is to find ways of meeting the needs of our growing population while protecting nature and preventing climate change.  Everyone – governments, businesses, communities and individuals – has a part to play in coming up with this new plan – a global deal for nature. 

You can help us in campaigning to end deforestation and fix our food system, advocating to stop fossil fuel emissions by 2050, taking action to end plastic pollution and supporting our local wildlife by calling on MPs to protect UK nature.