Ecosystem (mis)management
mahendra | 04 Jan 2011

Lots of data prove that ecosystem is being degraded at a fast pace.

+ 20% of earth’s surface land cover has been significantly degraded by human activity.

+ 60% of planet’s assessed ecosystems are now damaged or threatened.

+ Of the 5487 recognized mammal species in the world, more than half are declining in numbers and more than 20% are threatened with extinction.

+ Farmland covers nearly a quarter of the planet’s surface entire forest systems.

+ Entire forest ecosystem have disappeared in at least 25 countries and have declined by 90% in another 29 countries.

+ Since the onset of industrial fishing in the 1960s, the total biomass of large, commercially targeted marine fish species has declined by a staggering 90%.

+ A study using a worldwide agricultural model to estimate emissions from land use reveals that corn-based ethanol would increase greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 100% over 30 years.
Biofuels & Water Projection for 2030

+ If current trend persists, the disruptive effects of climate and ecosystem change will continue to impair the well being of at least 2 billion of the world’s human population and to diminish their prospects for a better future.

+ Nature based income routinely accounts for more than half of the total income stream for the world’s rural poor.

+ Estimates suggest that 90% of the rural poor depend on forests for at least a portion of their income.

+ The UN Food & Agriculture Organisation estimates that 7.8 million hectares of forest are lost each year to subsistence hillside farming and shifting cultivation as a result of declining yields on traditional agricultural land.

+ The problem of soil degradation, which has affected all but 16% of the world’s croplands, presents serious implications for agricultural productivity and broader ecosystem services, including biodiversity.

+ Forest destruction continues at the staggering rate of 13 million hectares a year, an area equivalent to half of UK attributed mainly to land conservation and agricultural expansion.

+ Tropical forest loss accounts for an estimated 17% of all greenhouse gas emissions, making it a major cause of global warming.