We use cookies to provide some features and experiences in QOSHE

More information  .  Close
Aa Aa Aa
- A +

Is the world's wildlife in ‘catastrophic decline’? Er, no.

13 15 24

Every two years, since 1998, conservation group WWF has produced a Living Planet Report, an assessment of the state of the world's wildlife. This year's report has just been published and it has prompted the usual scary headlines, leaving many readers with the impression that animal life on planet Earth is rapidly heading for extinction.

In his foreword to the report, WWF International's Director General Marco Lambertini declares: “As the world reels from the deepest global disruption of a lifetime, this year’s Living Planet Report provides unequivocal evidence that nature is unravelling and that our planet is flashing red warning signs. Humanity’s destruction of nature is having catastrophic impacts not only on wildlife populations but also on human health and all aspects of our lives.

The headline claim in the report is that there has been “an average 68 percent fall in monitored populations of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish between 1970 and 2016.” It goes on to say: “The current state of our planet confirms that the world and its leaders should embrace a new global deal for people and nature that sets us on a path where both can thrive.

Mainstream media unquestioningly lapped it up. “Wildlife in ‘catastrophic decline’ due to human destruction, scientists warn,” shouted the BBC. “Natural world being destroyed at rate ‘never seen before’, WWF warns,” said The Independent. “Humans exploiting and destroying nature on unprecedented scale,” warned The Guardian.

None appeared to do any due diligence or checking. Of course, very few people think it would be a good idea to allow wildlife to die out thanks to human activities. But the report needs careful reading to understand what it is really saying, along with a huge dose of........

© RT.com

Get it on Google Play