WWF: ‘We’ve lost an incredible amount’ of nature

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — For the first time ever, Alaska’s snow crab season has been canceled due to 90% population decline in the Bering Sea – from 8 billion in 2018 to just 1 billion in 2021.

This is the latest example of devastating biodiversity loss, coming just days after the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) announced its the latest living planet report.

WWF report

The analysis is alarming, revealing that observed wildlife populations globally have declined by 69% since 1970. WWF monitors 32,000 populations of 5,000 species of vertebrates. In the last 50 years, we have lost more than two-thirds of our population.

Some of the greatest losses have come from Latin America, Africa and Asia mainly due to land destruction and resource exploitation.

WWF report

The report warned: “We have a severed relationship with nature” and “there is no sign that the loss of nature has been halted, let alone reversed.”

WWF Report Quotes

WFLA’s Chief Meteorologist and Climate Specialist, Jeff Berardelli, spoke with Rebecca Shaw, WWF’s Chief Scientist, to help us put this into perspective.

Jeff Berardelli: “You say this is an early warning, but it doesn’t seem early. If we’ve lost 69% of the vertebrate populations—the ones you’re monitoring—it sounds like it’s late to the game. And it sounds like if we don’t have a transformative change very soon that it’s going to destabilize our ability as human beings to function successfully?”

Rebecca Shaw: “When you have a decline, on average, across populations, of 69% what it tells us is that we’ve lost a lot, an incredible amount, and we have to act now. But there’s still time to rebuild those systems, rebuild those populations, so they can actually play their part in a functioning ecosystem that serves us.”

WWF reports risk areas

The report emphasizes that the climate challenge and biodiversity loss are interconnected and unless we limit warming, climate change will become the dominant cause of loss in the coming decades. You can’t solve one without solving the other.

WWF Report on Projected Loss Based on Potential Levels of Warming

“Many of the things we need to do to solve the climate problem are also things we need to do to solve the nature problem and if we don’t solve them together and do it quickly – we really have a decade to really do it for both – we do it at our own peril.” , Shaw said.

WWF Report on the Decline of Large Sharks Monitored

Shaw says she is optimistic because today’s youth see the world differently and are stepping forward to solve these problems. And just as the world meets every year to set climate change goals, the world is now doing the same for nature.

The high goal of the international community is a complete recovery by 2050.

WWF report aims to restore nature

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