Wild animal population has dropped by 60 percent since 1970


"In a nutshell, it's our own human activity that is leading to these declines", said James Snider, vice-president of science, research and innovation at WWF. "We're degrading habitats, overfishing, overhunting and continuing unsustainable agricultural practices on a large scale".

Calling the wildlife and the ecosystem "vital to human life", the current chairman of an intergovernmental panel on biodiversity and world's most eminent environmental scientists said, "destruction of nature is as risky as climate change".

"One was the realisation that climate change was risky for the economy and society, not just polar bears", Mr Lambertini said.

"We need to radically escalate the political relevance of nature and galvanize a cohesive movement across state and non-state actors to drive change, to ensure that public and private decision-makers understand that business as usual is not an option", it adds. That increased from 28 million tons that year to a peak of 130 million tons in 1996-although it has modestly decreased to 110 million tons in 2014, the last year of estimates.

From 1970 to 2014, 60 pc of all animals with backbone - fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals - were wiped out by human activity. Four years ago, the decline was 52%.

World Wildlife Fund-Pakistan Senior Director Programmes Rab Nawaz said Pakistan is faced with many challenges and opportunities when it comes to the environment and wildlife.

Remarkably, nature is estimated to provide more than £100 trillion a year in services with its supplies of fresh air, clean water, food, energy, medicines and raw products. "Exploding" levels of human consumption are driving the impacts on nature, with over-exploitation of natural resources, deforestation to grow crops such as soy and palm oil, and the use of pesticides in agriculture.

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The biggest cause of wildlife losses is the destruction of natural habitats, much of it to create farmland. While reforestation is gaining acceptance across the globe, extreme droughts have, in turn, created forests that are tinder-dry and ripe for wildfires, not only destroying homes and businesses but destroying wildlife habitats and animals.

The study stated the biggest losses happened in the tropics of South and Central America where there has been an 89 percent decline in vertebrates from 1970. Reduction and disappearance of wetlands, he said, was a serious concern for India. It is rivers and lakes where the damage is being felt the most, where populations of wildlife have fallen by as much as 83pc. Eating less meat is an essential part of reversing losses, he said.The Living Planet Index has been criticised as being too broad a measure of wildlife losses and smoothing over crucial details.

The pace of loss is staggering in some ecosystems. "But some conservation efforts are working everyone may not agree, but India's Project Tiger is one example".

Although it's freely practiced in over 70 countries, doing this in China can lead to unlawful arrest, imprisonment, torture, or even death.

"The situation is really bad, and it keeps getting worse", WWF International director-general Marco Lambertini told Agence France-Presse. But an upcoming meeting of the 195-nation body could be the beginning of a "revolution" that will see the Convention re-engineered in 2020 into "a new deal for Nature".

The WWF calls for "a new global deal for nature and people" similar to the 2015 Paris agreement to tackle climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. "This really is the last chance".