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Aerial view of Hardy Reef, home to the Heart Reef, Great Barrier Reef  © WWF-Aus / Christian Miller

Aerial view of Hardy Reef, home to the Heart Reef, Great Barrier Reef © WWF-Aus / Christian Miller

Living Planet Report

We’re all connected

Since 1998, The Living Planet Report has been tracking the state of global biodiversity.

 

This year’s edition provides a platform for the best science, cutting-edge research and diverse voices on the impact of humans on the health of our Earth. More than 50 experts from academia, policy, international development and conservation organisations have contributed. WWF’s Living Planet Report 2018 shows the scale of the challenge – and highlights what we can do, both here in Australia and around the world, to change the way we live.

 

The future of the planet is in our hands.

 

Key findings from 2018 include:

  • The Living Planet Index indicates that global populations of vertebrate species have, on average, declined in size by 60% in just over 40 years.

  • The biggest drivers of current biodiversity loss are overharvest of wild populations and destruction of habitats for agriculture, both linked to continually increasing human consumption.

  • Runaway human consumption is severely undermining nature’s ability to power and sustain our lives, societies and economies: globally, nature provides services for humanity worth around US$125 trillion a year.

  • Given the interconnectivity between the health of nature, the well-being of people and the future of our planet, WWF urges the global community to unite for a global deal for nature and people to reverse the trend of biodiversity loss.

  •  The report includes the latest findings measured by the Living Planet Index tracking 16,704 populations of 4,005 vertebrate species from 1970 to 2014.

Koala sitting on road © Cheryl Ridge

© Cheryl Ridge

Koalas in crisis

WWF’s Living Planet Report 2018 reveals that global wildlife numbers have plummeted by 60% in just over 40 years.

 

That’s a 13.6% loss per decade.

 

Even more frightening, in our own backyard, koalas on Australia’s east coast are declining at a rate of 21% per decade. This shrinking figure can sadly be explained by another damning discovery released in the report: Eastern Australia has become a world ‘deforestation hotspot’.

 

The report names Australia as one of 11 global deforestation fronts, alongside Borneo, East Africa, the Congo Basin and the Amazon. Australia is the only developed country on the list. But we can change this, take action to save the homes and lives of koalas today.

 

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 2018: Full report Living Planet Report 2018: Summary

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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