A new report from the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) warns that a skyrocketing global population and rampant overconsumption in the developed world is threatening the future health of the planet. According to WWF in its Living Planet Report (LPR), we are currently using 50 percent more resources than the planet can sustainably provide. If we continue on our present course, in 2030 even two planets will not be enough to sustain our population.
The LPR is released every two years and measures the state of biodiversity across the Earth. Since 1970, biodiversity has decreased by 30 percent, with tropical regions the hardest hit at 60 percent.
High income countries feature an enormous ecological footprint that is five times larger than poor countries. In a sense, poor countries are currently subsidizing the overconsumption of the West.
The new report comes just ahead of next major sustainable development summit: the Rio+20 gathering in June. With a projected global population of 9 billion in 2050, we need to make some hard decisions about the world’s trajectory of growth over the next few decades.
The WWF hopes that the report will allow governments to acknowledge the severity of the situation and take the necessary action to shift towards a more sustainable economy. One practical measure WWF hopes to encourage is the introduction of ecological indicators in the measure of a country’s success beyond GDP.
Their overall goal is to urge governments to embark on more efficient production systems and curb human demand for land, energy, and water. Our first priority should be reducing the ecological footprints of developed countries.
What are your thoughts on the LPR report? Do you think it will influence policy-making decisions at the Rio+20 gathering in June?
Image CC licensed by Wojtek Mejor