Nature is in crisis, placing human and planetary health at risk. This decade must be the turning point where we recognize the value of nature, place it on the path to recovery and transform our world to one where people, economies and nature thrive.
The global goal for nature defines what is needed to halt and reverse today’s catastrophic loss of nature. It is supported by a number of organizations that ask governments to adopt the goal at the international level, which each country, the private sector, communities and others can contribute to achieving.
A global goal for nature embraced at the highest levels will drive ambition in governments, business and society, to inspire the UN Convention on Biological Diversity Post2020 framework process, as well as create the opportunity for links between biodiversity and other conventions/agreements such as climate, ocean and land degradation.
A Global Goal for Nature - in parallel to the UN Climate Convention's “net zero” goal – would commit governments to taking action now to halt nature loss and ensure that the world is nature-positive by the end of this decade.
That means that by 2030, we must have more nature than we do now, through improvements in the health, abundance, diversity and resilience of species, populations and ecosystems.
By 2050, nature must recover so that thriving ecosystems and nature-based solutions support future generations, the diversity of life and play a critical role in halting runaway climate change.
Human activities are destroying nature at a rate much faster than it can replenish itself. The COVID-19 pandemic is a warning sign that the decline of nature is destabilizing society. A continued loss of nature threatens not only over half the global GDP, but more importantly human lives and wellbeing, with the poorest and most vulnerable hit first and hardest. As the climate crisis is deeply linked to the nature crisis, both need to be addressed simultaneously to drive a swift transition to a nature-positive, carbon-neutral future.
With climate, we have the clear goal of carbon neutrality, articulated in the target of net zero emissions by 2050, with the objective of keeping global warming below 1.5C. A similar time bound goal is needed for nature, to ensure we halt and reverse biodiversity loss at the pace necessary, in support of climate action and the Sustainable Development Goals.
“Key natural ecosystems are heading towards irreversible tipping points with dangerous consequences for the stability of our planet. This is why we need to set our global compass to halt and reverse nature loss to safeguard human and planetary health.
A global goal for nature aiming at achieving a net positive outcome by 2030 is crucial to secure a nature-positive future for humanity within our planetary boundaries.”
Professor Johan Rockstrom
Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research