Living Planet Report 2014 | wwf
Satellite image of a phytoplankton bloom, Cape Nordkinn. 
	© ESA
The tenth edition of WWF’s Living Planet Report, launched at the United Nations in Geneva, is a stark call to action for a world living beyond its means.

The report reveals that humanity's demand on the planet is more than 50 per cent greater than what nature can sustain, with dramatic declines in biodiversity since 1970.

With the theme Species and Spaces, People and Places, the report tracks over 10,000 vertebrate species populations from 1970 to 2010 through the Living Planet Index – a database maintained by the Zoological Society of London. The report's measure of humanity's Ecological Footprint is provided by the Global Footprint Network.

According to the Living Planet Index, representative populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles have declined by 52 per cent since 1970. Freshwater species have suffered a 76 per cent decline, almost double that of land and marine species.
In the Indo-Pacific, the picture is even worse with a 67 per cent decline over the same period.

As the leading biennial survey of the Earth’s health, the report also ranks the Ecological Footprints of 152 countries.

Australians on average have the 13th largest Ecological Footprint per capita in the world.

While this is a slight improvement on where we were in 2012, when we ranked 7th, it still means we are using more natural resources than most other countries.

Figure 23 Ecological Footprint per country, per capita, 2010 This comparison includes all countries with populations greater than 1 million for which complete data is available (Global Footprint Network, 2014).

We are using nature’s gifts as if we had more than just one Earth at our disposal. By taking more from our ecosystems and natural processes than can be replenished, we are jeopardizing our very future.

Marco Lambertini, Director General, WWF International

Stand up for
renewable energy

Planet Earth Background for Earth Hour 2014 
	© Earth Hour Global
What can Australia do to help reduce carbon pollution?

Keep a Renewable Energy Target. It’s already cut half a million cars’ worth of pollution and it underpins 21 000 jobs.

The Australian Federal Government has said it will review the target – so ask your local MP to increase the Renewable Energy Target, not cut it.

The report measures Australia’s footprint as being made up mostly of carbon emissions, followed by the biologically productive area required for cropland and grazing. If the rest of the world lived like we do in Australia, we’d need 3.6 Earths to sustain our demands on nature.

This means we are eating into our natural capital, making it more difficult to sustain the needs of future generations. Humanity’s well-being and very existence depends on healthy ecosystems and the services they supply, from clean water and a liveable climate, to food, fuel, fibre and fertile soils.

While the Living Planet Report clearly shows that we are living beyond our means, it does showcase how, in Australia, we are pioneering models to reduce marine pollution. Queensland farmers provide a positive example of how to tackle one of the world’s biggest threats to marine life.


Case study

Thousands of farmers on the Great Barrier Reef coast are showing the world how reducing polluted run-off from paddocks can boost farm productivity and be good for business, jobs and the marine environment.

Read our full case study on the Great Barrier Reef.
Gerry Deguara on his sugarcane farm in Mackay. 
	© WWF / James Morgan
Gerry Deguara on his sugarcane farm in Mackay.
© WWF / James Morgan