nature on the edge

unsustainable human activity 

is pushing the planet’s 

natural systems 

that support life on Earth 

to the edge

in 2020 the international community 

did not fully achieve 

any of the 20 Aichi 

biodiversity targets 

agreed in Japan in 2010 

to slow the loss of the natural world

along with missed targets

$500bn (£388bn) in government subsidies 

is still being invested 

in environmentally damaging 

agriculture, fossil fuels and fishing 

the UN's global biodiversity outlook 5

reported that more than 

60% of the world’s coral reefs 

are under threat

because of overfishing 

and destructive practices

the living planet index (LPI) 

tracks almost 21,000 populations 

of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles 

and amphibians around the world

the 2020 LPI show

an average 68% fall 

in almost 21,000 wildlife populations 

between 1970 and 2016

a two-thirds decline 

in less than half a century 

due in large part 

to the very same 

environmental destruction 

which is contributing 

to the emergence 

of zoonotic diseases 

such as COVID-19

1 in 5 plants are threatened with extinction

the current rate of plant extinction 

is twice that of mammals

birds and amphibians combined

since 1970 the average decline 

in freshwater population size 

is 84% 

the starkest population decline 

in any biome

equivalent to 4% per year


why are we losing nature?

we are the cause




changing land use 

for food production 

is the biggest driver 

of nature loss

about 50% of the world’s 

habitable land area 

is already used for agriculture 

for livestock such as cattle and pigs 

and for crops that feed 

both people and livestock

if we continue to destroy the natural world

we will see more outbreaks like COVID-19 

and the next pandemic 

could be even more deadly and costly

business-as-usual will result

in even more steep population declines

we need nature

nature is a solution

nature can help 

to address climate change 


or to reduce vulnerability 

to the negative impacts 

of climate change

Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO) is published by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

The Living Planet Index (LPI) is provided by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL)

World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) - Living Planet Report 2020

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