Report identifies threats to biodiversity in Pakistan
Human activities have caused a 60 per cent decline in the global populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles between 1970 and 2014, according to the Living Planet Report 2018 released by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
Speaking at the launching ceremony in Karachi of the report, which was released worldwide the other day, Dr Babar Khan, the director conservation at WWF-Pakistan said that the top threats to species identified in the report are directly linked to human activities, including habitat loss and degradation and over exploitation of wildlife.
“In Pakistan, environmental pollution, poaching, hunting and other illegal activities are adversely impacting biodiversity and environment,” he said. The report presents a sobering picture of the impact of human activity on the world’s wildlife, forests, oceans, rivers and climate, underlining the rapidly closing window for action and the urgent need for the global community to collectively rethink and redefine how we value, protect and restore nature.
The Living Planet Report 2018 presents a comprehensive overview of the state of our natural world, 20 years after the flagship report was first published. Through indicators such as the Living Planet Index (LPI), provided by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), the Species Habitat Index (SHI), the IUCN Red List Index (RLI) and the Biodiversity Intactness Index (BII), as well as Planetary Boundaries and the Ecological Footprint, the report paints a singular disturbing picture: human activity is pushing the planet’s natural systems that support life on Earth to the edge.
Speaking at the report launch, Dr Khan said science is showing us the harsh reality that forests, oceans and rivers are enduring at our hands.
The LPI, which tracks trends in global wildlife abundance, indicates that global populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles declined, on average, by 60 per cent between 1970 and 2014, the most recent year with available data. Pakistan is home to magnificent biodiversity, most importantly the snow and common leopards, Indus dolphin, white-backed and long-billed vultures, Arabian Sea humpback whale among others that face similar threats, he said.
Dr Khan lamented that the recent incident of oil pollution in Pakistani waters and confiscation of pangolin scales and turtle meat show that human activities are adversely impacting biodiversity and environment. “We, and the planet, need a new global deal for nature and people now,” he said.