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Living Planet Report 2014

October 2, 2014 Comments off

Living Planet Report 2014
Source: World Wildlife Fund

The Living Planet Report documents the state of the planet—including biodiversity, ecosystems, and demand on natural resources—and what this means for humans and wildlife. Published by WWF every two years, the report brings together a variety of research to provide a comprehensive view of the health of the earth.

Population sizes of vertebrate species—mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish—have declined by 52 percent over the last 40 years. In other words, those populations around the globe have dropped by more than half in fewer than two human generations.

At the same time, our own demands on nature are unsustainable and increasing. We need 1.5 Earths to regenerate the natural resources we currently use; we cut trees faster than they mature, harvest more fish than oceans replenish, and emit more carbon into the atmosphere than forests and oceans can absorb.

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New study gets its teeth into shark trade regulations

August 20, 2013 Comments off

New study gets its teeth into shark trade regulations
Source: WWF

A new TRAFFIC study examines how tighter trade controls can ensure that seven species of sharks and manta rays are only sourced sustainably and legally before entering international trade.

The study, Into the deep: Implementing CITES measures for commercially-valuable sharks and manta rays, was commissioned by the European Commission and written in the wake of these marine animals being listed in by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in March this year.

The oceanic whitetip shark, porbeagle shark, three species of hammerhead shark and two manta rays, all of them subject to continued overfishing, were included in Appendix II which will regulate trade.

South China Sea, Mediterranean and North Sea are shipping accidents hotspots

June 20, 2013 Comments off

South China Sea, Mediterranean and North Sea are shipping accidents hotspots

Source: World Wildlife Fund

Some of the world`s most iconic oceans are also the most at risk according to a new study on shipping accidents released by WWF for World Oceans Day.

The South China Sea and East Indies, east Mediterranean and Black Sea, North Sea and British Isles were found to be dangerous hotspots for accidents involving ships.

“Since 1999 there have been 293 shipping accidents in the South China Sea and east Indies, home of the Coral Triangle and 76 per cent of the world’s coral species.” said Dr Simon Walmsley, Marine Manger, WWF International. “As recently as April this year we`ve seen a Chinese fishing boat run aground on a protected coral reef in the Philippines that had already been damaged by a US Navy ship in January.”

Fishing vessels accounted for nearly a quarter of the vessels lost at sea but general cargo ships account for over 40 per cent. Cargo ships often operate short shipping routes, associated with the tramp trading where ships don’t have a set route and pick up opportunistic trade, particularly in Southeast Asia.

The risk to the environment is directly linked to the type and amount of hazardous substances, including oil, being transported and the sensitivity of the marine area where any accident could occur.

Big investments needed in Asia-Pacific’s dwindling natural capital

June 10, 2012 Comments off

Big investments needed in Asia-Pacific’s dwindling natural capital
Source: World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

Booming economic development and per-capita consumption across the Asia-Pacific region is burning up more natural resources than are available, placing enormous pressure on the region’s already heavily taxed forests, rivers and oceans, says a new WWF report on the value of Asia’s natural capital.

Produced in partnership with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Ecological Footprint and Investment in Natural Capital in Asia and the Pacific report – a regional perspective on elements of the recently-released Living Planet Report – focuses on attainable methods of preserving key regional ecosystems including the unique forests of Borneo, the marine wealth of the Coral Triangle, the Mekong region’s diverse habitats, as well as the mountainous Eastern Himalayas.

The new report uses the Living Planet Index (LPI) to measure changes in the health of ecosystems across the Asia-Pacific region. The global index fell by 28 per cent from 1970 and 2008, while the Indo-Pacific region saw a shocking 64 per cent decline in key populations of species over the same period.

Africa can choose…a sustainable future

June 7, 2012 Comments off

Africa can choose…a sustainable future
Source: World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

The “Africa Ecological Footprint Report : Green Infrastructure for Africa’s Ecological Security” takes stock of the health of Africa’s ecosystems, as well as trends in resources use patterns. It also lays out recommendations on implementing green development pathways for Africa .
The report highlights a steep decline in biodiversity in Africa: 40% in 40 years. This decline reflects a degradation of the natural systems upon which Africa’s current and future prosperity depends.

In addition, rapid population growth and increasing prosperity are changing consumption patterns, with the result that Africa’s ecological footprint—the area needed to generate the resources consumed by a given group or activity – has been growing steadily. Africa’s total ecological footprint is set to double by 2040.

Continuing on a business-as-usual scenario means jeapordizing the natural systems on which lives and economies depend. Yet Africa is in an advantageous position to act. This report showcases successful initiatives across Africa as solutions to be up-scaled in areas such as renewable energy, integrated water resource management, ecotourism, and forest conservation.

EU — Our Natural Capital: A good investment in times of crisis

April 12, 2012 Comments off

Our Natural Capital: A good investment in times of crisis

Source:  World Wildlife Fund
Despite the irreplaceable role nature has for human beings, nature in the EU is not in a good status, mainly because of human activity. Only 17% of the most important European habitats and species are estimated to be in good conservation status. The over-exploitation of natural resources, uncontrolled land use change and a general underestimation of the socio-economic value of the environment sector are among the reasons that lead us to the current biodiversity crisis.

The EU succeeded in putting in place a good legislation that brought to the creation of the biggest network of protected areas in the world: Natura 2000. However, in order to reduce the negative effects of some human activity, maintain nature or restore when degraded, we need to invest in management and concrete measures. The costs of Natura 2000 are estimated at €5.8 bn per year but they pay-off. According to new studies, the multiple benefits of the ecosystem services linked to Natura 2000 e.g. clean water, touristic income, can reach the value of € 200-300bn per year.

The current EU Budget Review offers the chance to ensure that these investments are done. WWF’s report “Our Natural Capital: A profitable investment in times of crisis” explores the funding opportunities of the on-going EU Budget Review, and presents some recommendations on how to improve the future funding for nature. The report also shows how the national programming tools (Prioritized Action Framework) should be used for Natura 2000 during the upcoming period 2014-2020.

The report is supported by 12 members of the European Habitats Forum showing that most of the key European environmental NGOs have a common view on how Natura 2000 should be financed in the future.
+ Full Report (PDF)

Water shortage becoming growth risk for business, says DEG and WWF report

April 6, 2011 Comments off

Water shortage becoming growth risk for business, says DEG and WWF report
Source: World Wildlife Fund

According to a new study by WWF and German development bank DEG, the shortage of freshwater is not only becoming more and more of an ecological risk, but it also is rapidly becoming a major business growth risk – one that investors need to take into account.

Assessing Water Risk: A Practical Approach for Financial Institutions, states that climate change, population growth and increasing living standards are contributing to the rising pressure on existing and already scarce water resources, particularly in developing countries. In Southeast Asia and Africa, for example, water shortages constitute a threat to entire ecosystems and to the living standards of the population.

+ Full Report (PDF)

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