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Biodiversity

© Zig Koch / WWF

We share our planet with millions of different species. Biodiversity is a term that represents the total variety of all life on Earth.

Biodiversity, our safety net

Think of all the different species and places on our planet as threads in a net. The more threads that intertwine, the stronger the net – and the better nature can provide for us and cope with threats such as climate change. 

Unfortunately, people have been unpicking the safety net for decades. We’ve flattened forests to make way for agriculture, infrastructure, or simply to take the wood. We’ve netted fish until their numbers collapse. Our Mediterranean is the sea with the most depleted fish stocks in the world. And we’ve destroyed waterways for navigation, river regulation and agriculture, providing the conditions for floods and other disasters. 

The good news is that for the first time in human history we understand the impact we're having on the natural world that we love and depend on − and we know how we can start to mend the net. There is still time to reverse this loss of nature. But we need to act now or face catastrophic change.

The huge variety of animals and plants, and the places they live, is called biodiversity. It provides us with essentials like food, drinking water, clean air, medicines and shelter.

Nature can thrive again

We can be smarter about how we use our oceans, forests, freshwater and land, and how we produce energy, food and other resources.
 
We have the knowledge and capacity to move towards a better future for people and nature. And we’re already exploring new ways to feed our growing population, meet our energy demands and manage our water supply.
 
Now is the time to get behind these solutions to ensure that everyone gets a fair share without destroying nature. We urgently need a new global deal for nature and people that would put the environment at the heart of our economic, political, social and financial systems and would integrate efforts to tackle climate change, declines in biodiversity, and the collapse of fisheries.

The deal would focus on solutions that address the underlying drivers of environmental problems. It requires action from everyone – from individuals to governments and businesses – to tackle their global footprint on the natural world.

Wildlife populations declined, on average, by 60% between 1970 and 2014.

© © Jeremy D'Arbeau

New Deal for Nature and People

2020 will see a historic moment when world leaders will take key decisions on the environment, climate and sustainable development. These decisions will set the agenda for the next decade.

Together, we can influence these global decisions and send a message that it's no longer acceptable to destroy our natural world – and that we can take a different, better path. 

Put simply, we need governments to commit to halting and reversing the loss of nature by 2030, and restoring nature to more sustainable levels by 2050. We need a new deal for nature and people.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

We are the first generation to know we are destroying our planet. And we could be the last that can do anything about it. Help us make a difference!

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Sir David Attenborough: “If we damage the natural world, we damage ourselves…We have the knowledge to actually live in harmony with nature.”

© WWF