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Wildlife Populations Have Decreased by 69%—Here's How You Can Help

The Living Planet Report 2022 from WWF issues a "code red" for the planet. Here's what you can do to help.

wwf report wildlife populations drop
Written by
Calin Van Paris
Published
"Our society is at the most important fork in its history, and is facing its deepest systems change challenge around what is perhaps the most existential of all our relationships: the one with nature," writes Marco Lambertini, director general of
World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
.
The sentiment defined the tone of the organization's most recent
Living Planet Report
, which details a two-thirds decline in the global vertebrate wildlife populations in less than 50 years.
wwf report wildlife populations drop
The report cites changes in land use as a major contributor to this drop but notes that climate change is already responsible for
mass mortalities
and
extinctions
—and, if the temperatures continue to rise, continued loss of biodiversity will be next.
When it comes to restoring the balance of nature, the report says net zero loss is not enough—we need a positive gain. To achieve that, our society must overhaul the way we look at consumption and production, from agriculture to infrastructure.
The Living Planet Report also reminds readers that the climate and biodiversity crises are inextricably linked. We are all existing in one giant ecosystem, and just as warming has proven to have catastrophic effects on nature, so will a continued loss of biodiversity directly affect our climate and modes of survival.
"This edition of the Living Planet Report confirms the planet is in the midst of a biodiversity and climate crisis, and that we have a last chance to act," reads the report. "A nature-positive future needs transformative—game-changing—shifts in how we produce, how we consume, how we govern, and what we finance. We hope it inspires you to be part of that change."
Here, three ways you can help now.

How You Can Help

climate biodiversity crises

1. Get Involved or Donate

From
WWF
to the
Rainforest Trust
to the myriad species-specific organizations, opportunities for education, donation, and participation abound. Get Googling and find a group that resonates with you.

2. Vote for Wildlife

The changes necessary to not only protect but improve our planet will involve major changes in policy around the world—and humans are the only animals who can vote.
Pay attention to existing political platforms. If you don't see a commitment to wildlife, demand it; call your politicians on the local and national levels and demand not just conservation, but concerted action.

3. Live More Sustainably

Ceaseless news and anxiety around climate change and its effects can be paralyzing, but small steps are and will continue to be essential in saving our planet.
Whether it's a shift in perspective, a new routine, or entirely overhauled habits, take a survey of your own life in relation to our connected global environment—you may be inspired to make some changes.