Mammals, birds, fish ... under the overexploitation of humans, the Earth has seen its wild vertebrate populations decline by 60% between 1970 and 2014, announces the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in a more alarming record at each edition.
"Preserving nature is not just about protecting the tigers, pandas, whales that we cherish," says WWF director Marco Lambertini. "It is much broader: there can be no healthy and prosperous future for men on a planet with a destabilized climate, exhausted oceans, degraded land, and empty forests, a planet stripped of its biodiversity."
The decline of the fauna concerns all the globe, with particularly affected regions, like the Tropics, according to the 12th report "Living Planet", published Tuesday with the Zoological Society of London and based on the follow-up of 16 700 populations (4000 species).
The 10th report reported -52% between 1970 and 2010. Nothing seems to slow down the collapse of the workforce, to 60% now.
The Caribbean / South America zone has a "horrifying" record: -89% in 44 years. North America + Greenland are doing a little better, with fauna at -23%. The vast area of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East is at 31%.
Humans have caused a habitat loss, with intensive agriculture, mining extraction, urbanization ... that push for deforestation, exhaustion of soil.
In Brazil, which has just elected a president whose program evokes neither deforestation nor warming, the Amazon rainforest is shrinking more and more, like the Cerrado savannah, in favor of soybeans and cattle breeding.
Globally, only 25% of soils are free of human footprints; in 2050 it will be only 10%, according to the scientists of the IPBES (the "Giec of biodiversity").
Added to this is overfishing, poaching, pollution, invasive species, diseases, climate change ...
"The disappearance of natural capital is an ethical problem, it also has consequences for our development, our jobs, and we are starting to see it," said WWF France CEO Pascal Canfin.
"We are fishing less than 20 years ago because the stock is going down. The yield of some crops is starting to fall; in France, that of wheat stagnates since the years 2000, "he says:" We scions the branch on which we are sitting ".
"Services rendered by nature" (water, pollination, soil stability, etc.) have been estimated by economists at $ 125 trillion a year, or one and a half times the world's GDP.
Each year, the "day of overcoming" advances, this day from which the world has consumed all the resources that the planet can renew in one year. In 2018 it was August 1st.
And yet "the future of the species does not seem to hold the attention of the leaders enough", warns the WWF for which it is necessary to "raise the level of alert", to cause a vast movement as it was the case for the climate change.
United all the efforts can pay quickly, "We are the first generation to have a clear vision of the value of nature and our impact on it. We could also be the last to be able to reverse the trend “ which calls for action by 2020," a decisive moment in history, That year, the states will be called upon to strengthen their commitments to reduce greenhouse gases, and also to agree to protect nature at a special conference in Beijing - with the goal of "zero net loss of biodiversity in 2030 ", wishes the WWF.
"We must urgently move to a CO2-neutral society, reverse the loss of nature - via green finance, clean energy, another agri-food production - restore enough soil and ocean," lists Marco Lambertini. "Few people have had the chance to participate in real historical transformations. This is our chance.
What does the" Living Planet" report say?
The WWF, created in 1961, follows the accelerated decline of animal populations on Earth. Here are the conclusions of its last report "living planet", to which some fifty experts contributed and which also includes major scientific studies published on the subject.
The wildlife has collapsed from 1970 to 2014 and number of wild vertebrates - mammals, fish declined by 60%.