In the Birthday of the Earth ...
I would like to introduce the participants of the project with a new report WWF "Living Planet".
Report of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) «Living Planet" - is one of the most quoted sources in the world on the state of the planet. It measures the "health" of the Earth 2 key indicators: the Living Planet Index and the Ecological trail. Report is published every two years.
The number of vertebrate animals decreased by 2 times in 40 years
The Living Planet Index reflects the number of more than 10 thousand of representative populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish. From 1970 to 2010 it was reduced by 52% - more than twice.
"The dynamics of the number of animals - a barometer. It shows that we are doing to our planet, our only home, "- say in the WWF.
Hardest reduced populations of freshwater species - by 76%. This is much higher than the rate of decline in marine (39%) and land (39%) species.
From regions of the world the situation is worst in South America (down 83%), followed by a small margin by the Asia-Pacific region (67%). Russia together with Europe and North Africa attributed to the Palaearctic region. Here, the Living Planet Index declined by 30%.
Which countries have left most of natural resources?
Biocapacity - the ability of ecosystems to provide valuable biological resources and absorb waste (including emissions of CO2). More than 60% of global biocapacity is concentrated in 10 countries. It Brazil, China, USA, Russia, India, Canada, Indonesia, Australia, Argentina and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
"Russia is one of the world leaders in terms of biocapacity, along with China, Brazil and the United States. The reason for this - a huge area of the country with large areas of primary forest. However, such a wealth leads to the depletion of our territory. This applies to the exploitation of natural resources, and relaxed attitude to emissions and waste that nature allegedly still able to process, - says Mikhail Babenko, Head of the "green economy" in the WWF Russia. - Russia is a global exporter of biological capacity, and this resource should support, not to waste. "
If we talk about biocapacity per capita, the leaders are Gabon, Bolivia, Mongolia, Canada, Australia, Finland, the Republic of the Congo, Paraguay, New Zealand and Uruguay. Russia occupies 17th place out of more than 150 countries.
We consume 1.5 times more resources than they should
Another indicator - the ecological footprint of humanity. As follows from the last report, for more than 40 years, consumption exceeds the ability of the planet to reproduce resources.
To make up for the natural resources and services that we consume every year, it would take half of the planet Earth.
How is it possible that "overspending"? The fact is that for some time we can cut down trees faster than they grow, catch more fish than they can reproduce the oceans, and emit more carbon dioxide than can be absorbed by forests and oceans. However, the inevitable consequence - reducing inventory resources and accumulation of waste at a rate that exceeds the ability of the planet to their absorption or processing.
This means that we are using natural capital for future generations.
"The situation of constant overspending makes it increasingly difficult needs of a growing world population, and leaves less room for other species", - explained in the report of the experts WWF.
Which countries consume the most resources of the planet?
These are very different, depending on whether we consider the ecological footprint in the aggregate per country or per capita.
In the first case, the leaders are China, USA, India, Brazil and Russia. In the second - Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Denmark and Belgium.
As before, the ecological footprint per capita in high-income countries is almost 5 times higher than in poor countries.
Importing natural resources, rich countries are in fact "export" the loss of biodiversity. While they themselves biodiversity increased by 10% in middle-income countries it decreased (by 18%), and in poor countries has decreased dramatically (by 58%).
If everyone consumed like the average resident of Kuwait, then mankind would take about 5.8 planets. As a citizen of Qatar - is 4.8 planets. As a typical American - then 3.9 planets. As a typical Russian - is greater than 2 planets. Countries such as Uzbekistan and Algeria live exactly in accordance with the current capabilities of the Planet. But residents of Armenia, Indonesia, Peru, Morocco, and dozens of other consume even less than that given by the planet.
China ranks 76 th in the world in terms of ecological footprint per capita. But it has a huge population, so is the world leader in total Footprint. Similarly, by multiplying the per capita ecological footprint on the population of India has moved from 136th place to third in the absolute size of the next, and Brazil - from 53 th to fourth, and Russia - from 42 to fifth.
What to do?
Much of this release of the report "Living Planet" draws the reader bleak picture. "However, those same indicators that demonstrate the nature of today's problems, can point the way to improve the situation. Further reduction of the Living Planet Index and permanent ecological overspending is not inevitable, "- say in the WWF. They are the result of millions of decisions, many of which do not take into account sufficiently the value of the natural world.
In each of these cases there are opportunities to make more responsible decisions. To reverse the current trends and to find alternative path of development is not easy. But this can be done. The report leads WWF 6 cases of successful solutions to environmental problems in different regions of the world.
Note: The publication of the 2014 Living Planet Index reflects the dynamics of populations for 40 years - from 1970 to 2010. Currently no data more recent years have not yet been processed, as for collecting, processing and input from around the world takes time. Therefore, the database 2010 is the most complete and reliable for use at the moment.