Living planet report 2008

30 Oct 2008

Australian's exploitation of the environment is worse then ever, with the nation now boasting the fifth largest ecological footprint per capita in the world - up from sixth worst just two years ago - according to the WWF biennial assessment of the state of the natural world.

This report uses complementary measures to explore the changing state of global biodiversity and of human consumption. The Living Planet Index reflects the state of the planet’s ecosystems while the Ecological Footprint shows the extent and type of human demand being placed on these systems.

The Living Planet Index of global biodiversity, as measured by populations of 1,686 vertebrate species across all regions of the world, has declined by nearly 30 per cent over just the past 35 years.

For the first time in this report, the volume of data in the Living Planet Index has allowed species population trends to be analysed by biogeographic realm and taxonomic group as well as by biome. While biodiversity loss has levelled off in some temperate areas, the overall Living Planet Index continues to show a decline. It appears increasingly unlikely that even the modest goal of the Convention on Biological Diversity, to reduce by 2010 the rate at which global biodiversity is being lost, will be met.

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