WWF just released their Living Planet Report 2010 today. Check it out here: http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/all_publications/living_planet_report/.
The purpose of the report? To Dr. Chris Hails, the Director of Network Relations in WWF International, who presented during today’s launch in the Singapore Botanic Gardens, the report is “to provoke debate and action, just like what we had in this launch”.
A glance into some interesting data:
- Singapore is no. 21 in the ecological footprint index, and Malaysia is trailing behind at no. 32.
- ASEAN’s carbon footprint has increased 100x in 2007 since 1970. But, as ASEAN is a complicated region made up of developed, developing and very poor countries, probably only Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines contributed to that abnormally high carbon statistics.
- The 31 countries in OECD contributed 1/3 of the global carbon footprint, BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) contributed 1/4, while both ASEAN and the African Union constituted the least pollutants. But, once again, bear in mind that ASEAN is a very diverse region.
- In low-income regions, biodiversity is suffering from a decline. People in these regions are desperate to earn their livelihood, and without other means of resources turn to the natural resources around them. E.g. In the Philippines, they used hydrogen cyanide to stun fishes out of coral reefs. Hydrogen cyanide doesn’t kill the fishes, making it a useful method to capture beautiful, expensive coral fishes for the aquarium trade and food industry. However, extensive use of hydrogen cyanide kills the coral reefs.
- The three centers of richness (for biodiversity) are the Congo Basin, Amazon and South East Asia. In South East Asia, we have two nature repositories – the Heart of Borneo and the Coral Triangle.
- The Coral Triangle is the richest coral reef in the world with 6% of all known coral species, over 6,000 species of coral reef fishes and 120 million people dependent on it for a livelihood. This triangle is the place where fish is captured for the Singapore, Malaysia and China markets. This is the nursery and spawning ground for tuna fishes essential for the tuna industry in the US, EU and Japan.
It’s all and well that WWF used a holistic approach to produce nice-looking and easily understandable statistics. It’s good that hard figures are laid down to emphasize the call for action. I just hope that this is not all we would end up doing for the environment. More data, more debate, and just that.
- The last of the sea nomads (guardian.co.uk)
- RP adopts Southeast Asia action plan for marine conservation (globalnation.inquirer.net)
- Massive Coral Bleaching Damages 95% of Corals in Philippines (treehugger.com)
- Reefs at risk: Roundup at the not-so-OK coral corral (scientificamerican.com)
- Coral reefs sending a warning signal (cnn.com)