Giant panda bear (Shutterstock: see credit below)
Blog Words : Paul Goldstein | 02 October

Paul Goldstein reviews WWF's Living Planet report

The latest WWF report gets a C-minus from wildlife guide, photographer and safari camp owner Paul Goldstein

Here’s another worthy WWF report telling us correctly that pretty much everything is doom and gloom. The report's headline statistic was the 52% decline in species since the '70s. This was always going to be the banner for the papers to hang their superficial stories on. The statistic, though, is hardly a surprise – and frankly, why should we be surprised by any of it?

Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE have the biggest footprint.
What a real shock that is! We all know how these countries got so wealthy in the first place – and neither flora nor fauna stand a chance when there is oil around. Also take a look at their medieval record on human rights and ponder whether there is any chance for animals – no Arab Spring for these people or animals.

There is still hope if politicians and businesses take the right action.

This is a naïve, simplistic and frankly facile message, seeing as it is these people who have caused most of the destruction. Can you really imagine a U-turn? There is a constant imploring throughout the report for world leaders not to sit by and wait for someone else to do something. Sadly, last week Mark Carwardine reminded us in BBC Wildlife Magazine that Canada, Australia and the UK are actually doing less than nothing to help – to say nothing of China.

Start shaming the perpetrators of this insidious evil very publically
There is a constant feeling that if politicians and businesses and other big wigs get together, something will happen. Perhaps they should have another forum or symposium – maybe in a casino this time, and invite a few chinless celebrities and watch them get jolly cross and shed crocodile tears about the situation. This is not the way. Start shaming the perpetrators of this insidious evil very publically – then you might wake people up.

Who are the biggest sinners?
The Chinese, of course – yet are they shamed? Let’s take a look at their track record: emissions, executions, human and animal rights abuses, ethnic cleansing and ‘traditional medicine’ – not much of a CV, is it?

And finally, the big one: birth rate.
You can recycle as much as you like, turn off as many switches as possible, but if birth control is not addressed you are wasting your time. In the report there is no mention of contraception, education and financial incentives for smaller families.

Is it important that this report is published? I am not sure. We are well beyond the tipping point: actions not words or reports are required NOW.

Do you agree with Paul? Let us know in the comments below...

Main image: Giant panda bear (Shutterstock)

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