Maxwell Bernstein | December 23, 2020
The World Wildlife Fund for Nature’s Living Planet Report for 2020 focuses on, “bending the curve for biodiversity lost.” The report states the importance of biodiversity when it comes to human health, societal health, the health of ecosystems, and the preservation of nature.
Between 1970 and 2016, there was an average 68% decrease in population sizes for mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and fish. The report says, “Since the industrial revolution, human activities have increasingly destroyed and degraded forests, grasslands, wetlands and other important ecosystems, threatening human well-being.”
Humans are the primary driving force of climate change and environmental destruction. “Until 1970, humanity’s Ecological Footprint was smaller than the Earth’s rate of regeneration. To feed and fuel our 21st century lifestyles, we are overusing the Earth’s biocapacity by at least 56%,” the report said.
Threats to biodiversity include species overexploitation, invasive species and disease, pollution, climate change, land and sea use that results in habitat loss and degradation. Land use change will potentially lead to an increase in zoonotic disease spread as reported by Iowa Environmental Focus.