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The WWF today released its ninth Living Planet Report, detailing the ongoing destruction of the world's environment by the predatory behaviors of rich nations, which, the report concludes, are responsible for the most drastic drop in biodiversity in poor countries in over 40 years.

© Cat Holloway / Martin Harvey / Jürgen Freund / Wild Wonders of Europe / Konrad Wothe / Michel Roggo/ David Jenkins / WWF-Canon

In effect, the LPR portrays a “state of the planet” which reveals "how the poorest and most vulnerable nations are subsidizing the lifestyles of wealthier nations."   The 7% rise in the ecological footprint of rich nations  is directly correlated to the 60% decrease in the footprint of poor nations because the rich ravage and exploit the natural resources of the poor, the report concludes.

Biodiversity loss related to country income level:

© R. Isotti, A. Cambone –Homo Ambiens / WWF-Canon; Michel Gunther / WWF-Canon; Wild Wonders of Europe/Orsolya Haarberg / WWF

With  five weeks remaining until governments and NGOs meet at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development(Rio+20), the report outlines the enormity of the challenges facing all negotiators in developing a route towards sustainable development.  

"The report is clear that we're still going downhill, that our ecological footprint, the pressure we put on the earth's resources, continues to rise so we're now using 50% more resources that the earth can replenish and biodiversity continues to decline," said Jim Leape, Director General of WWF International. (CNN source)
The LPR determined that the "top ten" eco footprints belong to: (in order)
United Arab Emirates
United States.
the Netherlands
The LPR uses two indexes to compile its findings:
The Living Planet Index – this measures changes in the health of the planet’s ecosystems by tracking post-1970 trends of more than 9,000 populations of 2,688 vertebrate species.
• The Ecological Footprint– an accounting framework that tracks humanity’s competing demands on the biosphere by comparing human demand against the regenerative capacity of the planet. The human demand is translated into global hectares (gha) – hectares that represent average global production and CO2 sequestration. It highlights the changing state of biodiversity, ecosystems and humanity’s demand on natural resources; and explores the implications of these changes for biodiversity and humanity.

Astronaut Andre Kuipers shares his passion for our living planet

Footprint Interactive Graph:
Key Finding: From 1970 through 2008, support of the world's population required 1.5 planets

LPI Index Interactive Graph
Key Finding: The LPI index studies population trends over 2500 vertebrate species. Since 1970, the index has declined by approximately 30%.

Originally posted to RoadtoRio on Tue May 15, 2012 at 03:18 PM PDT.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots.

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