IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

World’s wildlife population down by 68% since 1970

14th September, 2020 Environment

Context: The WWF’s Living Planet Report 2020, released.

More about news:

  • The WWF’s Living Planet Report 2020, has found that there has been a reduction of 68 per cent in the global wildlife population between 1970 and 2016.
    • The Living Planet Report is published every two years by the World Wide Fund for Nature since 1998.
    • The Living Planet Report is the world's leading, science-based analysis, on the health of our planet and the impact of human activity.
    • The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is an international non-governmental organization founded in 1961 that works in the field of wilderness preservation and the reduction of human impact on the environment.
  • The report also found that 75 per cent of the Earth’s ice-free land surface has already been significantly altered, most of the oceans are polluted, and more than 85% of the area of wetlands has been lost during this period.
  • The most important direct driver of biodiversity loss in the last several decades has been land-use change, primarily the conversion of pristine habitats into agricultural systems, while much of the oceans have been overfished. Other factors leading to biodiversity loss include species overexploitation (like overfishing), invasive species and diseases, as well as pollution and climate change.
  • The largest wildlife population loss, according to the Living Planet Index, has been in Latin America at an alarming 94 per cent.

INDIA’s performance:

  • India, a “megadiverse country” with over 45,000 species of plants in only 2.4 per cent of the world’s land area, has already lost six plant species to extinction, according to the IUCN Red List.
  • The report further finds that India has lost nearly one-third of its natural wetlands to urbanisation, agricultural expansion and pollution over the last four decades and WWF India’s report on Water Stewardship for Industries revealed that 14 out of 20 river basins in India are already water stressed and will be moving to extreme water scarcity by 2050.
  • “The report indicates health of the soil is declining and we are losing the topsoil, including in India, at an alarming rate,”
  • In India, adequate data, on different aspects regarding plant and animal species and their habitats, are simply not available. In the absence of this data, it also becomes more difficult to identify a problem and envisage a solution.

Reference: https://indianexpress.com/article/world/worlds-wildlife-population-down-by-68-since-1970-6589791/

Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin, an excellent source of fuel methane

Context: Methane hydrate deposits in this basin are a rich source that will ensure adequate supplies of methane, a natural gas


  • Study using molecular and culturing techniques revealed maximum methanogenic diversity in the KG basin, which is one of the prominent reasons to confirm it to be the extreme source of biogenic methane in comparison to the Andaman and Mahanadi basins
  • As the world runs out of fossil fuels and looks out for alternate sources of clean energy, there is good news from the Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin.
  • The methane hydrate deposit in this basin is a rich source that will ensure adequate supplies of methane, a natural gas.
  • Even the lowest estimate of methane present in the methane hydrates in KG Basin is twice that of all fossil fuel reserves available worldwide.
  • The methane hydrate deposits are located in the Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin are of biogenic origin.


  • It is a clean and economical fuel.
  • It is estimated that one cubic meter of methane hydrate contains 160-180 cubic meters of methane.
  • Methane hydrate is formed when hydrogen-bonded water and methane gas come into contact at high pressures and low temperatures in oceans.

Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin

  • It is an excellent source of fuel methane.
  • Methane hydrate deposits in this basin are a rich source that will ensure adequate supplies of methane, a natural gas.
  • The basin is home to olive ridley sea turtle, a vulnerable species
  • Extensive deltaic plain formed by two large East Coast Rivers, Krishna and Godavari in the state of Andhra Pradesh and the adjoining areas of Bay of Bengal in which these rivers discharge their water is known as Krishna Godavari Basin.