Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×
Kudus stand in a holding pen at Liwonde National Park in southern Malawi, Dec. 27, 2017. VOA

A report released Thursday by the nonprofit conservation group World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said the world’s wildlife populations have plunged by an average of 68% in just four decades, with human consumption behind the decline.

The 2020 Living Planet Report, a collaborative effort involving about 125 individuals, tracked almost 21,000 populations from 1970 to 2016, including species of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians.


Experts say that deforestation for the purpose of farming and wildlife trade were the main factors of the drop. However, the introduction of nonnative species and changing habitats of grasslands, savannas, forests and wetlands as a result of climate change were key components as well.

Follow NewsGram on Twitter to stay updated about the World news.

“Deforestation, and in the larger sense habitat loss — which is driven by how we produce and consume food — is the main cause of this dramatic decline,” said Fran Price, leader of the global forest practice at WWF International.


In this Nov. 23, 2019 photo, a burned area of the Amazon rainforest is seen in Prainha, Para state, Brazil. VOA

However, wildlife populations are not the only ones who are in danger as a result of species decline and deforestation. Scientists say that the rapid destruction of the environment plays a dramatic role in the spread of zoonotic diseases, which are passed from animals to humans, such as COVID-19.

Forests act as buffers to keep zoonotic diseases away from humans, environmentalists say, and the more that are destroyed, the greater the risk of exposure for people.

‘Russian roulette’

“The longer the wildlife stay in supply chains with other humans and people, the greater the risk of spillover of a wildlife disease to humans,” said Rebecca Shaw, chief scientist at WWF. “We are playing Russian roulette with the threat of pandemics, and in the end, we will lose … big. And COVID-19 is only the beginning.”

The authors of the report say that regions of Latin American and the Caribbean faced the biggest impacts, with an average decline of 94% in wildlife populations in the area. Price believes large-scale commercial production of palm oil, soy and beef in the area has contributed substantially to the drop.

Environmentalists say conserving existing forests and restoring damaged ones reduces the risk of flooding, helps limit global warming by storing more carbon, and protects biodiversity. As of 2019, data from Global Forest Watch, a real-time monitor of forests worldwide, indicates that tropical rainforests are disappearing at a rate of 12 million hectares a year as a result of deforestation.


A truck transporting cut trees sits parked for inspection at a government checkpoint for environmental control, customs and migration in Chepo, Panama, Oct. 7, 2019. VOA

Experts say that while climate change is not yet the biggest cause of biodiversity loss, in the coming years, climate change will become a key driver of species decline.

Also Read: Everything You Need To Know About ‘The Victory Project – Six Steps to Peak Potential’

Stronger commitments

In their report, WWF members called for stronger commitments by governments and corporations around the world to make global supply chains more sustainable. Experts say that consumers, too, must understand the impacts of their purchasing habits on nature.

Researchers at the University of Oxford said Thursday that climate change solutions must go beyond tree planting and greenhouse gas removal. They recommended nature-based interventions, such as restoring forests and mangroves. These have been shown to alleviate approximately 60% of climate-related pressures, such as flooding and a loss of food production, in areas around the world. (VOA)


Popular

wikimedia commons

Children playing ringa ringa roses in an open backyard in England

Great historic events that have shaped the world and changed the outlines of countries are often not recorded in memory, or so we think. Wars made sure to destroy evidence and heritage, and the ones who survived told the tale of what really happened. Folklore, albeit through oral tradition kept alive many such stories, hidden in verse, limericks, and rhymes.

Ringa-ringa-roses, a common playtime rhyme among children across the world, is an example of folklore that has survived for many centuries. It tells the story of the The Great Plague of London which ravaged the city between 1665-1666.

Keep Reading Show less
wikimedia commons

Certain tribes have remained matrilineal, where the decision-making power rests with the eldest female of the family.

In modern times, many social movements aim to bring reform to the society we live in, on the basis of certain existing patterns. Patriarchy is something that many aim to cleanse our cultures of, to usher in the era of social and gender equality. Despite all these so-called movements, in southern India, certain societies that patronise matriarchy have existed since before India's independence. The Nairs and Ezhavas of Kerala, and Bunts and Billavas of Karnataka are matrilineal societies that continue to thrive in a patriarchal country.

Kerala remains separate from the rest of India in many ways. Be it literacy policy, form of government, or cultural practices, this state does not always conform to the ideal that India is known for. Even so with their social structure. Certain tribes have remained matrilineal, where the decision-making power rests with the eldest female of the family.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Medhat Dawoud on Unsplash

It is the world's top tech company in turnover (totaling $274.5 billion in 2020) and its most valuable corporation.

Apple inc. Is an American multinational tech firm specialized in consumer electronics, computer programs, and internet services founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne in 1976 to manufacture Wozniak's Apple iComputer. It is the world's top tech company in turnover (totaling $274.5 billion in 2020) and its most valuable corporation. Apple is the fourth-largest PC seller by unit sales and the fourth-largest smartphone manufacturer in the world.

Apple has revealed a slew of new products at a special launch event that has been long-awaited. On the day of the live event, Apple announced the iPad mini, Apple Watch Series 7, iPhone 13 mini, and iPhone 13, as well as the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Keep reading... Show less