The necessary change of view for a living planet


Humans of two generations ago were lucky as they were able to meet more than twice the animal populations that today we will succeed only see in books, photographs or museums. The big question for this generation is how many species are threatened now may become known to our children and grandchildren.

The answer to this question combines several factors, but certainly our own actions will play an important role against the legacy we will leave to those who come.

So far, the projections are not encouraging, as our excessive life style has made every day, literally, we are consuming nature’s resources could be allocated to those men and women who are just taking their first steps on Earth or for those who have not yet arrived. The world needs today a planet and means to sustain human life, and some countries even require up to four and even six, as the United States and Kuwait, respectively.

One of the outputs can be foreseen for negative close this chapter for humanity is to change the perspective, settling in our minds the vision we have one planet and that resources are not infinite.
This is the call that emphasizes WWF in the latest version of its Living Planet Report, biannual publication that presents the health of nature worldwide and also shows how have we behaved ourselves, through the ecological footprint of humanity.

The report notes that the Living Planet Index-which measures more than 10,000 critical populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish-has fallen by 52% between 1970 and 2010. Most worrying is that most vertebrate population decline recorded in Latin America, mainly due to the intense pressure on our region.

These living beings are key pieces in the fabric of the ecosystems that sustain life of all that exists and we are showing the consequences of what we do or fail to do for our only home: Earth.
On the other hand, the demand for human beings for resources exceeds 50% than the planet can renew naturally and sustainably. Should this tendency to overuse, manifested in areas such as increased logging, depletion of fish stocks, low water availability, among others, will face in the coming years a risk of ecosystem collapse.

The challenge we face as human beings is to first understand that these processes not only have to do with conservation of wildlife and natural areas, but in the background is the field in which you are playing the future humanity. We must not forget that nature is the main source of our being, our economy, our food security, our social stability and our own survival. Much is at stake, but we still have the ability to find creative solutions to a better tomorrow, equitable and sustainable, where human beings can live in harmony with nature.

Rodrigo Catalan
Director of Conservation
WWF Chile


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