The WWF sets out global trends in biodiversity over the past 50 years, concluding that land use change is currently the greatest threat to nature, but that climate change could overtake land use change in impact if we cannot keep warming to 1.5°C. The relative abundance of monitored vertebrate wildlife populations has declined by an average of 69% between 1970 and 2018, with particularly large declines (of 94%) in Latin America and the Caribbean. (For a definition of relative abundance, see page 9 of the Living Planet Index technical report). The report also emphasises the importance of indigenous knowledge and a rights-based approach to solving the nature, climate and pollution crises.
TABLE readers may be particularly interested in the following food-relevant parts of the report:
- Pages 22-23 on the links between forests, climate, water and food production.
- Pages 40-41 for a map of the top six threats to terrestrial vertebrates, with agriculture posing a top threat primarily in the tropics.
- Pages 42-45 for a discussion of how different types of marine species respond to fishing pressures.
- Page 67 for a breakdown of humanity’s ecological footprint by land use type (including grazing, fishing and crop production) and activity (including food and transport).
- Pages 74-75 on TRADE Hub, an international initiative on sustainable global supply chains.
- Pages 76-77 on food system diversification and food security.
Read the full report, Living Planet Report 2022: Building a Nature-Positive Society, here or here (PDF link). See also the TABLE explainer Food systems and contributions to other environmental problems.