Nature Champions: Call to Action

Backgrounder

Nature is our most precious resource. It is essential to all life on earth. As a global community, we need to do more to address the pressures facing nature, including the loss of animals, plants and their habitat, and hence our foundation for survival. As with the Paris Agreement, we need a moment where the world wakes up to the reality and risks of these pressures and we collectively commit to take action. By bringing international champions for nature together, we can help build the momentum and high ambition urgently needed to protect the healthy natural world we value and rely on. Together, we can find innovative solutions that empower and promote the roles of Indigenous peoples, women and youth; leverage and increase investment for nature; and build the sustainable development of natural resources.

Nature provides both intrinsic and economic value for current and future generations. For many communities, nature is a key component to cultural and spiritual well-being. The loss of biodiversity has serious impacts on nature-based commodities worldwide. Globally, 3 billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods. Estimates show that the direct value of the outputs from coral reefs, seagrass, mangroves and marine fisheries total US$6.9 trillion.

With the world coming together to address the critical issue of climate change and advancing the Sustainable Development Goals, we have an opportunity to work together toward our common goals. In fact, putting nature first is a winning economic strategy for governments, economic actors and citizens today and for the future.

We recognize that preserving nature benefits our climate efforts.  At the same time, addressing carbon pollution and building the resilience of our land and oceans has a positive impact on nature and wildlife.

We, a coalition of Nature Champions – including international leaders from philanthropy, industry, non-governmental organizations, United Nations agencies, Indigenous peoples and governments at all levels from around the world – came together at the Nature Champions Summit, held in Montréal, Canada, April 24-25. We Nature Champions gathered in Montreal are beginning a global mobilization with this Call to Action, jointly committing to take a different, better path that puts nature first, recognizing it is the context for all life including human life and protecting it accordingly. Collaboratively, we the Nature Champions commit to place nature's needs at the heart of all global agendas including:

  • recognizing the fundamental link between nature, a stable climate, human wellbeing, and sustainable development for all;
  • uniting nature conservation objectives with addressing climate change and developing nature-based solutions that are effective for both;
  • promoting an ambitious set of new targets for the UN Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) that has clear and measurable objectives for 2030 and effectively enables the world to reach the 2050 Vision of Living in Harmony with Nature;
  • widening the participation in the Convention on Biological Diversity Strategic Plan beyond governments to include commitments and actions by a wide range of actors;
  • addressing nature's needs by increasing the proportion of land and ocean that we protect and conserve around the world and improve the way we manage and restore it;
  • addressing the key drivers of nature loss across the world by enhancing concrete action on:
    • reducing habitat-loss and deforestation;
    • curbing terrestrial and marine pollution; and   
    • developing and strengthening sustainable supply and value chain management;
  • embracing nature-based decision-making in all key political, economic, cultural, and social decisions;
  • increasing investment in nature conservation and leveraging existing commitments to mobilize new resources; and
  • recognizing and enhancing the role of subnational governments, cities and other local authorities as well as of Indigenous peoples, local communities, women and youth in the protection of nature.

We hope that global leaders will build on this Call to Action at the G7 Environment Ministers’ Meeting in Metz, France, May 5-6, the Trondheim Conference on Biodiversity in July of this year, the UN General Assembly high-level segment, Climate Change CoP 25 in December 2019, the Oceans Conference in June 2020, the 2020 World Conservation Congress and the CBD CoP15 in China.

We invite everyone around the world to join us in this Call to Action and become Nature Champions.


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