Wildlife Health Cornell responds to global crisis
Global wildlife population declined sixty percent over the past four decades, according to the Living Planet Report 2018, released this week by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). After assessing the current global conservation crisis, the report concludes that the current generation may be the last to reverse the trend.
Steven Osofsky, professor of wildlife health and health policy at the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine and pioneer of the One Health movement says while using nature’s resources at a rapid rate may help global societies flourish now, we face significant negative impacts over time.
"By mining nature’s resources at an unsustainable rate, global societies can flourish in the short term, but face significant impacts from the degradation of nature’s life support systems over the longer term.
“It’s become undeniable that human activity is rapidly transforming most of Earth’s natural systems. The global impacts of accelerating climatic disruption, land degradation, growing water scarcity, fisheries degradation, biodiversity loss, and pollution threaten the global development gains of the last several decades and are likely to represent the dominant global threats of the next century.
“By altering the composition of the atmosphere, degrading arable lands faster than they can be replenished, overfishing, polluting, changing the chemistry and temperature of our oceans, withdrawing ground water faster than it can be recharged, and dramatically reducing the number and population size of species who coinhabit the planet with us, we are without any doubt putting the poor and future generations in harm’s way."