Thursday, October 9, 2014

Victoria's Green Matters - 9th October 2014

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury A recent report from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) has found that 2.5 Earths is required to maintain the UK’s present rate of human consumption; the USA requires 4 Earths and the world as a whole, 1.5 Earths.

It is quite frightening to read that half the number of creatures from land, rivers and seas are being destroyed as humans kill them for food in unsustainable numbers or are polluting and destroying their habitats. This has happened over the last four decades. These figures were ascertained by analysing 10,000 different populations covering 3,000 species in all and then used to create a ‘Living Planet Index (LPI) which shows the state of all 45,000 known vertebrates.

As well as an indication of biodiversity, the LPI can be used to work out our ‘ecological footprint’ – that is, the rate at which we are using up natural resources. At present, we are cutting down trees faster than they can re-grow; we are taking water from rivers and aquifers faster than our rainfall can refill them; we are catching fish faster than the oceans can replace them and we are emitting more greenhouse gas than the forests and oceans can absorb.

This report should be a wake-up call for us all. In 2015, the countries of the world are due to meet in Paris to form a new global climate agreement and to agree a set of sustainable development goals. We also need to take this opportunity to reverse the decline in wildlife. Victoria Nicholls.

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