West lifestyle 'plundering natural resources from tropics at record levels'

London, Oct 14 (ANI): A WWF report has revealed the extent to which modern Western lifestyles are plundering natural resources from the tropics at record levels.

The latest Living Planet report also showed that Earth's population is using the equivalent of 1.5 planets' worth of natural resources, but the long-term decline of animal life appears to have been halted.

In the last 40 years human consumption has doubled, while the Living Planet index - measuring the decline and increase of thousands of species on land, in rivers and at sea - has declined by 30percent overall, and by a massive 60percent in the tropics.

"This is like spending the savings: we're spending the natural capital we have on this planet. That's an economic crisis in the making," The Guardian quoted Jim Leape, WWF's director, saying at the launch of the report in Bristol.

Measurements of the "ecological footprint" of different countries compiled by the Global Footprint Network, shows the richest countries consume, on average, five times the quantity of natural resources as the poorest countries.

The report says the biggest impact on the global footprint of humanity is an 11-fold increase in carbon emissions in the last four decades. In another 40 years the footprint would double again, forecasted Leape.

The report calls for a series of changes to help address the problems, including more protected areas, zero net deforestation, eliminating overfishing and destructive fishing practices, and finding ways to put a value on biodiversity and ecosystem services.

There also needed to be more support to sustainable alternatives to modern consumption, such as timber, fish, soy, and other commodities from well-managed sources, said WWF. (ANI)

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