Humans Are Destroying The Planet And Have Just One Generation To Save It, Says Report

The WWF lays out the scale of environmental catatrophe
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Polar bear on melting ice cap

We are running out of time to save the planet (Photo: © naturepl.com/Andy Rouse/WWF)

Humans are destroying the planet - and have very little time to save it, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has claimed as it publishes a stunning new report.

Its Living Planet Report 2018 shows how wildlife has declined by 60 percent in 40 years, with 'exploding' human consumption, and increased energy, land and water usage are blamed for the 'unprecedented planetary change'.

"For too long we have taken nature for granted, and this needs to stop," says the report - which cites overexploitation of the planet's resources and the food system as the biggest issues.

Human impact

The report shares some worrying stats - showing the scale of the devastation. It claims only 25 percent of the planet's land is free from human impact. By 2050, this is projected to fall to just a tenth.

In addition, it says the percentage of the world’s seabirds estimated to have plastic in their stomach has increased from 5 percent in 1960 to 90 percent today.

And in April 2018, levels of climate-warming carbon dioxide reached the highest level in at least 800,000 years.

A turtle wrapped in discarded fishing net

Human disregard for other species is destroying the planet (Photo: © naturepl.com /Jordi Chias/WWF)

First generation

"We are the first generation to know we are destroying our planet and the last one that can do anything about it," Tanya Steele, Chief Executive at WWF said.

"We need urgent action from our leaders and a new global deal for nature and people that kick starts a global programme of recovery."

'Sleepwalking off a cliff'

"We are sleepwalking towards the edge of a cliff," Mike Barrett, Executive Director of Science and Conservation at WWF, added. "If there was a 60 percent decline in the human population, that would be equivalent to emptying North America, South America, Africa, Europe, China and Oceania. That is the scale of what we have done.

"This is far more than just being about losing the wonders of nature, desperately sad though that is.

"This is actually now jeopardizing the future of people. Nature is not a 'nice to have’'– it is our life-support system."