The Health of the Planet

Posted by on lug 12, 2012 in Resources, Sustainability Mission | 3 comments

The Health of the Planet

As one of the longest running measures of trends in the state of global biodiversity, the Living Planet Index (LPI) calls attention to the importance of protecting biodiversity and livelihoods across the globe. The LPI is a lens through which we can examine the health of the planet’s ecosystems and the overall state of global biodiversity.

Biodiversity continues to show a downward trend, especially in tropical areas and freshwater habitats.

• Across the globe, vertebrate populations were on average one-third smaller in 2008 than they were in 1970.
• Freshwater species declined more than for any other biome—37 percent between 1970 and 2008.
• Freshwater species in the tropics declined by a much greater extent—70 percent. This is greater than any species decline measured on land or in our oceans.
Measuring Our Ecological Footprint
The Ecological Footprint is an indicator of human pressure on nature. It measures how much land and water people need to produce the resources they consume (like food and timber), provide land for infrastructure, and absorb the CO2 they generate. It then compares this to biocapacity, nature’s ability to meet this demand.

Biodiversity continues to show a downward trend, especially in tropical areas and freshwater habitats.

• Across the globe, vertebrate populations were on average one-third smaller in 2008 than they were in 1970.

• Freshwater species declined more than for any other biome—37 percent between 1970 and 2008.

• Freshwater species in the tropics declined by a much greater extent—70 percent. This is greater than any species decline measured on land or in our oceans.

Measuring Our Ecological Footprint

The Ecological Footprint is an indicator of human pressure on nature. It measures how much land and water people need to produce the resources they consume (like food and timber), provide land for infrastructure, and absorb the CO2 they generate. It then compares this to biocapacity, nature’s ability to meet this demand.

The Living Planet Report 2012 shows that in 2008, the most recent year for which data is available, the world’s Ecological Footprint exceeded its biocapacity by 50 percent. This means it takes 18 months for the Earth to regenerate the renewable resources that people have used in the last 12 months.

How You Can Help

Reducing our ecological footprint is critical to a planet where people can live in harmony in nature. What is your footprint? Try our interactive footprint calculator to find out!

Learn more about the Living Planet Report

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