Born Free has launched the Global Nature Recovery Investment Initiative (GNRII) aimed at bringing about the transformative changes needed to protect people and wildlife around the globe.
GNRII aims to halt and reverse biodiversity loss and wildlife overexploitation; deliver enhanced ecosystem viability and services, alongside climate change mitigation; and promote public and animal health, sustainable livelihoods, and food and societal security.
Through this initiative, Born Free is advocating for the adoption of large-scale international and national commitments to:
The initiative promotes actions in the field, combined with international commitments to place nature recovery as a central tenet of negotiations for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework and as a key factor in global efforts to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
It is now universally acknowledged that nature is in crisis and that without a swift, bold and high response, we will rapidly reach the point of no return, where natural resources will be so depleted that they will no longer be able to sustain life on Earth. The wave of anthropogenic destruction is now affecting the resources and ecosystem services on which humans – and all living organisms – depend on for their survival, including clean air and water, food resources, carbon sequestration, and climate. The impact of this wave of destruction on wildlife species has now reached cataclysmic proportions with more than a million species facing possible extinction.
To combat this crisis, investment in nature must be placed on an equal footing with other global investment priorities such as development, education, social care, and defence. The current situation that sees public and private financing for activities which damage wildlife and biodiversity dwarf spending on nature protection, must be reversed.
Will Travers OBE, Executive President and Co-Founder of Born Free, said: “Through GNRII, Born Free invites all stakeholders to work together to identify and invest in opportunities to mainstream biodiversity protection and thereby deliver on public and animal health priorities. We must reform, realign and ramp up the way investment in nature is financed to deliver sustainable, healthy, enduring ecosystems and biodiversity for the long term."
COVID-19, the wildlife-related zoonotic pandemic, is a brutal reminder that all living beings, including humans, share the same potential fate. Fragmentation, degradation, destruction and loss of functional, natural ecosystems, combined with human activities that bring growing numbers of people into direct contact with wildlife, must be prevented, as a matter of urgency, to protect humans and wild species.
Crucial negotiations, which will have lasting and profound impacts on the future of the life on Earth, are in progress as part of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, created by the international community to define the level of ambition necessary to address these concerns. By launching GNRII, Born Free is calling on world leaders to ensure that their response is unequivocal, durable, financially ambitious, and prioritises the recovery of nature for future generations.
Travers added: “We, the human species, currently invest trillions of dollars each year in infrastructure, defense, health care, education and many other societal priorities yet we seem unwilling to invest the £388bn needed annually to secure the natural life-systems upon which we and all life ultimately depend. Some call this willful neglect, others criminal negligence – but whatever it is, it must stop. We urge countries around the world to aggressively pursue the path to nature recovery now. We can no longer wait until the next catastrophe hits and jeopardises the future of our children and our children’s children."