Skip to main content

8 billion reasons to safeguard nature

By September 14, 2020Global conservation

Children crossing a living bridge on their way to school, Meghalaya region, India. Photo as published in “The Living Planet Report, 2020”.

Marco Lambertini, Director General, WWF International | September 10, 2020

Download the Living Planet Report 2020 here.

At a time when the world is reeling from the deepest global disruption and health crisis of a lifetime, this year’s Living Planet Report provides unequivocal and alarming evidence that nature is unravelling and that our planet is flashing red warning signs of vital natural systems failure. The Living Planet Report 2020 clearly outlines how humanity’s increasing destruction of nature is having catastrophic impacts not only on wildlife populations but also on human health and all aspects of our lives.

The Living Planet Report 2020 underlines how humanity’s increasing destruction of nature is having catastrophic impacts not only on wildlife populations, but also on human health and all aspects of our lives.

This highlights that a deep cultural and systemic shift is urgently needed, one that so far our civilisation has failed to embrace: a transition to a society and economic system that values nature, stops taking it for granted and recognises that we depend on nature more than nature depends on us.

This is about rebalancing our relationship with the planet to preserve the Earth’s amazing diversity of life and enable a just, healthy and prosperous society – and ultimately to ensure our own survival.

Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in millions of years. The way we produce and consume food and energy, and the blatant disregard for the environment entrenched in our current economic model, has pushed the natural world to its limits. COVID-19 is a clear manifestation of our broken relationship with nature. It has highlighted the deep interconnection between nature, human health and well-being, and how unprecedented biodiversity loss threatens the health of both people and the planet.

It is time we answer nature’s SOS. Not just to secure the future of tigers, rhinos, whales, bees, trees and all the amazing diversity of life we love and have the moral duty to coexist with, but because ignoring it also puts the health, well-being and prosperity, indeed the future, of nearly 8 billion people at stake.

The Living Planet Report 2020 shows that there is an opportunity to heal our relationship with nature and mitigate risks of future pandemics but this better future starts with the decisions that governments, companies and people around the world take today. World leaders must take urgent action to protect and restore nature as the foundation for a healthy society and a thriving economy.

We still have a chance to put things right. It’s time for the world to agree a New Deal for Nature and People, committing to stop and reverse the loss of nature by the end of this decade and build a carbon-neutral and nature-positive economy and society.

This is our best safeguard for human health and livelihoods in the long term, and to ensure a safe future for our children and children’s children.