The Campaign for Nature–Get To Know It!

If you’ve been following along with us all week then by now you’ll have a pretty good understanding of the biodiversity crisis we’re facing and why it’s so important that we protect nature. That’s where the Campaign for Nature comes in…

In October of 2018,  the Wyss Foundation, a charity focused on protecting wild places, announced a $1 billion donation to launch the Wyss Campaign for Nature. Philanthropist Hansjörg Wyss says the money will go toward a U.N. goal to protect 30 percent of the Earth by 2030 through a partnership with the National Geographic Society, the Nature Conservancy, and Argentine conservation group Fundacion Flora y Fauna.

Why 30 by 30?: Some of the world’s largest environmental organizations have called for 30 percent of the planet to be managed for nature by 2030—and for half the planet to be protected by 2050. According to National Geographic, conservationists say these high levels of protection are necessary to safeguard benefits that humans derive from nature—such as the filtration of drinking water and storage of carbon that would otherwise increase global warming. The areas are also needed to prevent massive loss of species.

CBD COP-15: Yesterday we wrote about the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)’s upcoming meeting (or, COP) that’s set to take place in Beijing in 2020. The call for 30 by 30 is intended to serve as part of a process of getting global environmental targets organized before the COP. The targets that will ultimately be set at the COP in 2020 will replace and go beyond the “Aichi Biodiversity Targets,” which were set in 2011 and are supposed to be reached by 2020. Among them is a goal of protecting 17 percent of terrestrial and inland water, and 10 percent of coastal and marine areas.

Growing Momentum: 30 by 30 is thought to be a step to ultimately protect 50 percent of the Earth for nature. As NatGeo explained, calls to protect half the Earth date back to the 1970s, but the concept has gained momentum in recent years thanks to the 2009 founding of the Nature Needs Half movement and the 2016 publication of eminent naturalist E.O. Wilson’s book Half Earth.

Why This Matters: Next year is set to be a big one for biodiversity and with our partner the National Geographic Society through the Campaign for Nature we will keep you up to speed on the global 30 by 30 effort. Ultimately we need to talk more about biodiversity and why our policymakers have to make it part of broader efforts to curb climate change. Protecting 30 percent of our planet by 2030 is fundamentally doable but it will take political will and public pressure to achieve it.

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