There’s a real-life international power struggle and the antagonist is man ‘demanding more from the planet than it can renew,’ reports WWF in the Living Planet Report 2016
‘Since the early 1970s, humanity has been demanding more from the planet than it can renew (see below). By 2012,’ writes WWF in the Living Planet Report (LPR), ‘the biocapacity equivalent of 1.6 Earths was needed to provide the natural resources and services humanity consumed in that year (Global Footprint Network, 2016). Exceeding the Earth’s biocapacity is possible only in the short term. Only for a brief period can we cut trees faster than they mature, harvest more fish than the oceans can replenish, or emit more carbon into the atmosphere than the forests and oceans can absorb. The consequences of “overshoot” are already clear: habitat and species loss, and accumulation of carbon in the atmosphere (Tittensor et al., 2014; UNEP, 2012).’
Global Ecological Footprint by component vs Earth’s biocapacity, 1961-2012:
Carbon is the dominant component of humanity’s Ecological Footprint (ranging from 43 per cent in 1961 to 60 per cent in 2012). It is the largest Footprint component at the global level as well as for 145 of the 233 countries and territories tracked in 2012. Its primary cause has been the burning of fossil fuels – coal, oil and natural gas. The green line represents the Earth’s capacity to produce resources and ecological services (i.e., the biocapacity). It has been upward trending slightly, mainly due to increased productivities in agriculture (Global Footprint Network, 2016). Data are given in global hectares (gha).
Source: WWF. 2016. Living Planet Report 2016. Risk and resilience in a new era. WWF International, Gland, Switzerland.
John E Cooper is a member of a husband and wife team, from the United Kingdom. He and his wife Margaret (a lawyer, who is a contributor to this book and the forthcoming natural history book about Maxwell Knight) travel widely and lecture together in many countries. They have spent nearly twenty years living overseas, mainly in Africa, the Middle East and the Caribbean. They worked with mountain gorillas in Rwanda from 1993-95 and continue to study the diseases of these and other primates. The Coopers are now based in Britain, where they have visiting academic commitments, but they continue their voluntary work with wildlife, domesticated animals and rural communities in East Africa.
Gordon Hull is an amateur naturalist with a keen interest in primates. He has specialised in the study of gorillas over many years, during which time he has amassed a great deal of technical and historical information about specimens in zoos, museums, and other institutions throughout the world. Although unaffiliated, he has been, and remains, an assiduous and effective researcher, able to elicit excellent responses and co-operation from professional scientists and lay persons alike. Gordon is a member of the Gorilla Pathology Study Group (GPSG) and was a co-author with John E Cooper and Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka of the paper “Diseases and Pathology of the Genus Gorilla: The Need for a Database of Material and Resources”, presented in Nairobi, Kenya, in September 2013, that set the scene for this publication.
This work is to be published in late 2016 by Academic Press Elsevier- see ISBN: 9780128020395 Gorilla Pathology and Health. A combination of book and catalogue that contains extensive information on the pathology, health, welfare, and conservation of gorillas. It:
With a Foreword by Louise Leakey and Emmanuel de Merode and contributions by Margaret E. Cooper, Ian Redmond, Paul Budgen, Martyn Cooke, Allen Goodship, Jane Hopper, Jenny Jaffe, Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, Sophia Keen, Brian N. Livingstone, Keith Maybury, Dermot McInerney, Roberto P. Miguez, Jaimie Morris, Ogeto Mwebi, Geoffrey Pearson, Carina Phillips, Celsus Sente, Paolo Viscardi and others.
Did you know that Maxwell Knight wrote a (tongue in cheek) book about keeping a gorilla?