WWF: Half of the World’s Animals Now Gone

December 16, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. biodiversity /ˌbaɪ oʊ dɪˈvɜr sɪ ti, daɪ/ (n.) – variety of plant and animal species present in a specific area
Example: The forest is rich in biodiversity, having lots of different plants and animals.

2. ecosystem /ˈɛk oʊˌsɪs təm, ˈi koʊ-/ (n.) – a system that involves interaction between living organisms and the environment
ExampleA healthy freshwater ecosystem has various fish species.

3. take a toll /teɪk ə toʊl/ (idiom) – to have a negative impact to something
Example: Overfishing is now taking a toll on the ocean’s biodiversity.

4. forecast /fɔrˌkæst, -ˌkɑst, ˈfoʊr-/ (v.) – to predict what will happen in the future
Example: We need to forecast the effect of the worsening global warming to the environment.

5. collaborate /kəˈlæb əˌreɪt/ (v.) – to cooperate or work with another person or group
Example: The two environmental organizations are collaborating to create a new conservation strategy.


Read the text below.
The earth’s biodiversity has lost half of its animals; a new report suggests that measures done to protect wildlife must be intensified.

According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report, the world has lost 52% of its animal population between 1970 and 2010. The report has seen the greatest biodiversity loss in freshwater ecosystem. Terrestrial and marine ecosystems have also experienced a significant population decline in the same period.

The protection and conservation plans should focus on battling the leading causes of biodiversity loss. The WWF report cited that human activities were the main reasons why the number of animals has been decreasing.

Among these activities are excessive carbon emission, pollution, deforestation and habitat destruction, and too much fishing and hunting. These activities are associated with the continuously growing demand from the human population, which ultimately takes a toll on the natural resources. Simply put, the available natural resources may not be enough to provide for the increasing human demands.

In an effort to prevent further biodiversity loss, the WWF is improving its conservation strategies. Currently, the organization is working on how to use science to forecast and evaluate the impact of their programs. The WWF is also helping small communities make their own wildlife conservation programs. In addition, the organization is collaborating with public and private sectors to create business-related decisions that take natural resources into serious consideration.

Apart from these measures, the WWF also suggests that people participate actively in helping protect and conserve biodiversity. People can contribute by recycling, reducing the use of carbon-emitting products, and using renewable energy.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you agree that humans are the primary cause of the decline in animal population? Why or why not?
·         What could be the effects of the decline of animal population to humans? Please discuss your answer.

Discussion B

·         How else can the decline in animal population be prevented?
·         How can we protect the natural resources, both plants and animals?

December 16, 2014