Biodiversity—the variety of all life on Earth—supports the health and wealth of our societies. But natural systems are under threat. The COVID-19 pandemic is our latest and perhaps most stark warning that humanity isn’t exempt from the repercussions of nature loss. To truly realize a future that’s durable for people and the planet, we need a swift transition to a nature-positive, carbon neutral world. Pivotal UN conferences in 2021 offer hope, with opportunities to raise collective ambition and bold action for nature, food and climate.
Closing the Nature Funding Gap
In order to sufficiently fund the protection of nature, we need to know exactly how much we’re currently spending—and how much more is needed. In essence, we need to determine what our nature funding gap looks like. The Nature Conservancy, the Paulson Institute and the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability took a deep look at these numbers as part of our new report, “Financing Nature: Closing the Global Biodiversity Financing Gap”.
We all need nature, but we are exploiting it far more rapidly than it can renew itself—and that loss comes at a price.
The food we eat, the air we breathe, our health, our climate—essentially, everything that makes Earth inhabitable—all depends on the interplay of millions of organisms in diverse ecosystems, which have learned to thrive and interact over billions of years. Biodiversity underpins planetary health and informs everything down to the taste of a grain, the strand of a cloth and a sip of water, supporting our most basic needs. Nature loss is also accelerating the climate crisis. Yet, beyond areas well-stewarded by indigenous communities, nature and wildlife are declining around the world at an unprecedented rate. To reverse this trend, we must find better ways to manage humanity's footprint on land and sea—and new ways to fund this work.
Biodiversity: Nature by Another Name
Nature underpins every aspect of human existence—and it is in crisis
Governments and businesses now have an opportunity to take a critical, collective step to arrest this decline: to agree to protect at least 30 percent of the world on land and sea.
If adopted, this new framework will act as the world’s roadmap for wildlife and habitat conservation, as well as updating countries’ goals for conservation and sustainable use of living resources. The new framework should also better align with the global Sustainable Development Goals, driving home the critical role of nature in human health and well-being.
30x30: 8 Steps to Protect the Best on Earth
To make the most of a '30 by 30' goal, here are our eight key takeaways.
It will require up to $900 billion a year to reverse the global biodiversity crisis—but we’re not spending nearly that much currently.
In fact, we need an additional $700 billion a year to protect nature, according to a new report from the Paulson Institute, TNC and the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability. The number sounds daunting, but the report also lays out a number of actions policymakers and businesses can take to start closing the nature funding gap.
Closing the Nature Funding Gap: A Finance Plan for the Planet
We need $700 billion to reverse the global biodiversity crisis—here’s how we get it
To be truly transformational, the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework must involve finance, planning, transportation, energy, and agriculture officials.
Biodiversity advocates must learn an important lesson from climate activists. Global climate action gained momentum only after it became clear that the issue was about more than the environment, and would require a transformation of transport, energy, agriculture, infrastructure, and many industries. The rapid loss of biodiversity that we are witnessing is about much more than nature. The collapse of ecosystems will threaten the wellbeing and livelihoods of everyone on the planet. The CBD (the UN Convention on Biological Diversity) must move beyond traditional notions of “conservation” to engage with all relevant sectors of the economy and civil society. Saving nature is not a task for government alone; it must be a whole-of-society effort.
A Transformative Deal for Nature
A new Global Biodiversity Framework could mark a turning point in how we manage our relationship to nature.
Very little of the planet is truly "untouched." If we are to preserve the diversity of all habitats on Earth, we have to protect and manage lightly or moderately changed areas, as well as pristine landscapes.
New maps help visualize the current state of land on earth and land that is threatened with future development pressures from energy, mining and infrastructure projects around the world. These visuals show that to truly save nature, the moderately modified places—where humans have left a mark but some wild land still exists—are just as critical to conserve as the last remaining pristine areas. Can we balance this growth and meet human needs while still conserving the nature on which all life depends?
How do we balance development and conservation on a finite planet?
We urgently need to reset and reverse the path we're on—but doing so will require broad collaboration and investment. The UN biodiversity summit offers a chance to reset our relationship with nature.
Representatives from the world’s governments will convene for the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Kunming, China next year. It’s a pivotal moment for the countries that are party to the CBD to refresh and redouble their shared commitments to nature. These commitments must involve people who have the political and economic clout to drive transformational changes that interweave nature preservation throughout political and economic systems. Here are The Nature Conservancy’s top 10 recommendations to the CBD to create a new deal for nature.
10 Steps to a Transformative Deal for Nature
Ahead of the crucial summit, here are The Nature Conservancy’s top 10 recommendations to the CBD to create a new deal for nature.
When nature thrives, people thrive. But even when we acknowledge this truth on a planetary scale, it’s easy to lose sight of what that means to individual communities and individual people.
Even in the face of great challenges, people and nature find ways to thrive together. These nine stories of communities around the world—from Canada to Colombia and beyond—show how local leadership can have a global impact.
Nine Places Where People Are a Force for Nature
Local heroes across the globe remind us nature is personal, and show what leadership looks like in a world of change.
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Resources for Download
A Nature-Positive World: Global Goal for Nature
No succinct goal exists for nature and the global agreements that address various dimensions of biodiversity. This paper lays out an argument for the adoption of a succinct Nature-Positive Global Goal for Nature. More information on Nature PositiveDOWNLOAD
NGO Resource Mobilization StrategyDOWNLOAD
Joint Feedback on Updated Draft of Post-2020 GBF
COVID-19 Response and Recovery
Economic Recovery Guiding Principles
TNC's Position on Global Biodiversity Framework
NGO Joint Statement on Biodiversity
In The News
Sustaining Conservation in a Pandemic
The pandemic has slowed visits to national parks and wildlife reserves. In order to protect ecosystems that sustain livelihoods and attract visitors, conservation groups must find alternate sources of funding. Read More
Five takeaways from the EU’s new biodiversity strategy
The European Union unveiled a blueprint to address the biodiversity crisis. Here are five key takeaways, including fewer chemicals in farming, restoration of ecosystems, more protected areas and 3 billion new trees. Read More
COVID-19 disrupts a major year for biodiversity policy and planning
Experts worry the world will lose critical time to turn around alarming trends in biodiversity loss and climate change, and that the resources allocated to fight COVID-19 might mean fewer resources for biodiversity initiatives later on. Read More
Extinction: Meet the new poster animals of conservation
A new study compiles a list of hundreds of mammals, birds and reptiles that could act as new flagship species. They are charismatic in their own right, but often overlooked in favor of more iconic alternatives. Read More
A Transformative Deal for Nature
Delegates from around the world will gather to complete a new global agreement for protecting and conserving the world's natural systems. To succeed, they must bring together officials with the clout to effect change across entire economies. Read More