Living Planet Index
The Living Planet Index and the Living Planet Report are produced by the Worldwide Wildlife Foundation, whose mission is "to stop the degradation of our planet's natural environment, and build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature."
The Living Planet Index is one of the longest-running measures of the trends in the state of global biodiversity and reflects changes in the health of the planet’s ecosystems by tracking trends in populations of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians.
Executive Summary - Living Planet Report 2010
2010 is, according to the 2010 Living Planet Report:
- The year in which new species continue to be found, but more tigers live in captivity than in the wild.
- The year in which 34 percent of Asia-Pacific CEOs and 53 percent of Latin American CEOs expressed concern about the impacts of biodiversity loss on their business growth prospects, compared to just 18 percent of Western European CEOs (PwC, 2010).
- The year in which there are 1.8 billion people using the internet, but 1 billion people still without access to an adequate supply of freshwater.
- There has been a 30 percent decline in the global vertebrate species population from 1970 - 2007.
Living Planet Index trends
Tropical vs. Temperate
The global Living Planet Index is the aggregate of two indices — the temperate LPI (which includes polar species) and the tropical LPI — each of which is given equal weight. The tropical index consists of terrestrial and freshwater species’ populations found in the Afrotropical, Indo-Pacific and Neotropical realms, as well as marine species’ populations from the zone between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. The temperate index includes terrestrial and freshwater species’ populations from the Palearctic and Nearctic realms, as well as marine species’ populations found north or south of the tropics. In each of these two indices, overall trends between terrestrial, freshwater and marine species’ populations are given equal weight.
Tropical and temperate species’ populations show starkly different trends: the tropical LPI has declined by around 60 percent in less than 40 years, while the temperate LPI has increased by 29 per cent over the same period. This difference is apparent for mammals, birds, amphibians and fish, for terrestrial, marine and freshwater species, and across all tropical and temperate biogeographic realms. However, this does not necessarily imply that temperate ecosystems are in a better state than tropical ecosystems. If the temperate index were to extend back centuries rather than decades it would very probably show a long-term decline at least as great as that shown by tropical ecosystems in recent times, whereas a long-term tropical index would be likely to show a much slower rate change prior to 1970. There is insufficient pre-1970 data to calculate historic changes accurately, so all LPIs are arbitrarily set to equal one in 1970.
View the full report here:
Living Planet Index 2010 Report Launch
- ↑ http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/. Retrieved 17, Dec 2010.
- ↑ Living Planet Report 2010. Worldwide Wildlife Foundation. Gland, Switzerland. ISBN 978-2-940443-08-6.