The report, a collaboration with the Zoological Society of London, blames overuse of natural resources and agricultural activity driven by human consumption as the key causes of wildlife declines and destruction of oceans and landscapes.
The report uses the term "Great Acceleration" as the unique event we are now experiencing in the 4.5 billion-year history of the planet with exploding human population and economic growth driving unprecedented planetary change through the increased demand for energy, land and water.
The report says that the biggest challenge-and biggest opportunity-lies in changing our approach to development and remember that protecting nature also helps protect people.
Other worrying findings include that the Earth may have lost half of its shallow water corals during the same time. The report presents a sobering picture of the impact of human activity on the world's wildlife, forests, oceans, rivers and climate, underlining the rapidly closing window for action and the urgent need for the global community to collectively rethink and redefine how people value, protect and restore nature.
You can read the report in full here.
[Figure 2 - source: WWF Living Planet Report-2018] State of Earth's life support system. It also held invasive pollution, dams, fires, mining, and climate change as additional sources of pressure on nature.
The population of the planet's vertebrates has dropped an average of 60 percent since 1970, according to a report by the conservation organization WWF. "This report sounds a warning shot across our bow", said Carter Roberts, president, and CEO of WWF-US. "Exploding human consumption is the driving force behind the unprecedented planetary change we are witnessing, through the increased demand for energy, land and water". The numbers of freshwater wildlife species showed a dramatic decline of 83% over the same period.
The results are even more severe in South and Central America, and the Caribbean, where populations have dropped an astounding 89 per cent.
The report says that nearly three-quarters of all the land on the earth are now in some or the other way is affected by humans and their activities.
"We are sleepwalking toward the edge of a cliff", said Mike Barrett, executive director of science and conservation at WWF.
However, functions such as these "have been taken for granted until now by not acting against the accelerated loss of nature", lamented Lambertini.
The world's nations are working towards a crunch meeting of the UN's Convention on Biological Diversity in 2020, when new commitments for the protection of nature will be made.