Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

WWF’s Living Planet Report 2022 shows staggering loss of wildlife in Latin America and the Caribbean


It is in our vested interests to bring about positive change in natural systems since without these resources there would be no human life.

According to the World Wildlife Fund's (WWF) Living Planet Report 2022, monitored vertebrate populations (mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and fish) have declined by 69% on average since 1970. Latin American and Caribbean populations have suffered the most, with an average decline of 94%. Global freshwater species have also been disproportionately impacted, with average declines of 83%.

Several key drivers of biodiversity decline are identified in the report, including habitat loss, species overexploitation, invasive species, pollution, climate change, and diseases. It also urges policymakers to transform economies in order to properly value natural resources. Because biodiversity loss and climate change share many of the same underlying causes, actions that transform food production and consumption, reduce emissions quickly, and invest in conservation can help to mitigate both crises.

“The world is waking up to the fact that our future depends on reversing the loss of nature just as much as it depends on addressing climate change. And you can’t solve one without solving the other,” said Carter Roberts, president and CEO of WWF-US. “Everyone has a role to play in reversing these trends, from individuals to companies to governments.”

“These plunges in wildlife populations can have dire consequences for our health and economies,” said Rebecca Shaw, global chief scientist of WWF. “When wildlife populations decline to this degree, it means dramatic changes are impacting their habitats and the food and water they rely on. We should care deeply about the unraveling of natural systems because these same resources sustain human life.”

The 15th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP15) in December will bring world leaders together for a once-in-a-decade opportunity to correct course for the sake of people and the planet. Through diplomatic engagement and bringing new resources to the table to assist developing countries in protecting their biodiversity, the US government can help ensure the success of COP15 and the emerging 2030 Global Biodiversity Framework.

 “In the US, Congress should finalize this year’s funding bills with significant increases for global conservation programs,” added Roberts. “Doing so would empower the federal government to drive greater progress in conserving and restoring nature, and send a signal to other countries that it expects other actors to do the same.”

The Zoological Society of London's (ZSL) Living Planet Index is an early warning indicator of nature's health. This year's edition examines nearly 32,000 species populations, including 838 new species and over 11,000 new populations since the 2020 edition. It provides a comprehensive measure of how wildlife is responding to environmental pressures caused by biodiversity loss and climate change, as well as a better understanding of the impact of humans on biodiversity.

The Amazon pink river dolphin, whose populations fell by 65% between 1994 and 2016 in the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve in the Brazilian state of Amazonas; the eastern lowland gorilla, whose numbers fell by an estimated 80% between 1994 and 2019 in DRC's Kahuzi-Biega National Park; and South and Western Australian sea lion pups, whose populations fell by two-thirds between 1977 and 2019.

The Living Planet Report 2022 emphasizes the importance of recognizing and respecting Indigenous Peoples' and local communities' rights, governance, and conservation leadership in order to deliver a nature-positive future.

Flor Delicia Ramos Barba, who lives in the Indigenous community of Santo Corazon in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, said she has felt the loss of nature.

"Three years ago, the roar of the jaguar could be heard near the community, but not anymore," she added. “I've noticed a significant difference between now and my childhood. The animals in the neighborhood are no longer there. This deficiency is also felt in the rivers. People used to go fishing to support their families, but there are no longer any fish. Tree species are also becoming extinct.”

 “As a community we have become aware of the difficulties that come our way year after year. The conservation of our territory is important to us.”