Global populations of fish, mammals, amphibians and reptiles declined, on average, by 60 per cent between 1970 and 2014, a new World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Living Planet Report, has revealed.
The report, produced in collaboration with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), was launched in Yaounde recently, in the presence of Government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, partner NGOs and the media.
According to the report, for the past 50 years, human’s consumption of natural resources has increased by about 190 per cent leading to alarming decline in biodiversity.
While presenting a summary of the report to the public, the WWF Country Director for Cameroon, Dr Hanson Njiforti, said the top threats to species identified in the report are linked directly to human activities, including habitat loss and degradation; and over exploitation of wildlife.
The WWF Cameroon boss talked of problems linked to illegal and over exploitation of wildlife and forest resources such as the decline in the population of iconic species like elephants in Cameroon that WWF is proactively addressing.
Dr Njiforti said WWF envisage a future with healthy ecosystems and thriving biodiversity supporting people and driving sustainable development in Cameroon.
Meanwhile, Cameroon’s Programme Director of ZSL, Dr David Olson, lauded collaboration with WWF which he says has resulted in the publication of the Living Planet Report for the past 20 years.
Dr David Olson stated that efforts geared at documenting the trends in climate change, are geared towards helping people positively change their habits towards nature.
To him, the phenomenon of climate change is bringing about rapid influences on nature, challenging global economies where vested interest is still the order of the day.
In the end, both officials exhorted both government and environmental stakeholders to keep playing crucial roles in moving nature up the political agenda nationally in the bid to help the local population and policymakers take positive decisions for nature.