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Sunlight eclipsing planet Earth © Bjorn Holland / Getty Images / WWF

Sunlight eclipsing planet Earth © Bjorn Holland / Getty Images / WWF

Living Planet Report

Urgent action needed

People are overpowering the planet for the first time in Earth’s history.


The latest edition of WWF’s Living Planet Report shows the scale of the challenge – and highlights what we can do here in Australia and around the world to change the way society is fed and fuelled.
The Living Planet Index reveals that global populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles declined by 58 per cent between 1970 and 2012. We could witness a two-thirds decline in the half-century from 1970 to 2020 – unless we act now to reform our food and energy systems and meet global commitments on addressing climate change, protecting biodiversity and supporting sustainable development.


The future of the planet is in our hands.

Mass soybean harvesting in Brazil © Alffoto

Entering a new era

Human activities are pushing our planet into uncharted territory. In fact, there’s strong evidence that we’ve entered a new geological epoch shaped by human actions: “the Anthropocene”. The planet’s inhabitants – Homo sapiens included – face an uncertain future.

The loss of biodiversity is just one of the warning signs of a planet in peril. The Ecological Footprint – which measures our use of goods and services generated by nature – indicates that we’re consuming as if we had 1.6 Earths at our disposal. In addition, research suggests that we’ve already crossed four of nine “Planetary Boundaries” – safe thresholds for critical Earth system processes that maintain life on the planet.


Young children play in Dhoteri, Nepal © James Morgan  / WWF-US

Toward a resilient future

But if humans can change the planet so profoundly, then it’s also in our power to put things right. That will require new ways of thinking, smarter methods of producing, wiser consumption and new systems of finance and governance.

The Living Planet Report provides possible solutions – including the fundamental changes required in the global food, energy and finance systems to meet the needs of current and future generations.

Downloadable assets

Living Planet Report 2016: Full report Living Planet Report 2016: Summary Supplement: Living Planet Index Supplement: Ecological footprint

Did you know?

Over the past 100 years, humans have played an important role in changing the Earth's ecosystems. To mark this new era in Earth’s history, experts introduced the “Anthropocene”, the Age of Humans.

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