Skip to content

Perspectives

Nature Now

The investment of our lifetime

A Grevy's zebra staring at the camera in Lewa, Kenya.
The Grevy's Illusion A Grevy's zebra staring at the camera in Lewa, Kenya. © YARON SCHMID/TNC Photo Contest 2019

bold text that reads hashtag nature now

Biodiversity—the variety of all life on Earth—supports the health and wealth of our societies. But natural systems are under threat. The COVID-19 pandemic is our latest and perhaps most stark warning that humanity isn’t exempt from the repercussions of nature loss. To truly realize a future that’s durable for people and the planet, we need a swift transition to a nature-positive, carbon neutral world. And that’s why we’re attending and influencing policy at pivotal conferences this year including the IUCN World Conservation Congress, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity COP15, and the UNFCCC Climate COP26.

Making peace with nature is the defining task of the 21st century.

"The State of the Planet" Address, December 2, 2020

Policy Resources

The IUCN World Conservation Congress takes place in Marseille, France—September 3-11 —marking the first hybrid in-person/virtual environmental event since the pandemic began. The Congress aims to drive action on nature-based recovery, climate change and biodiversity for the decades ahead. Download the resources below for strategies and guidance on curbing biodiversity loss and stabilizing the climate.

  • report cover with trees and waterfall and title of report

    Report: Financing Nature

    PDF

    This report offers the most comprehensive assessment to date on how much the world currently spends to benefit nature, how much more we need to be spending, and how we can close that nature funding gap now. More information

    DOWNLOAD
  • thumbnail preview of a blue and orange infographic with lots of illustration and text

    Infographic: Building Better for Biodiversity

    PDF

    Biodiversity compensation requires developers to make a simple pledge: make biodiversity retention a top priority, and when destruction is truly unavoidable, restore a similar ecosystem of at least the same size, health and ecological value to ensure 'net-gain' for nature. More information

    DOWNLOAD
  • thumbnail preview of a blue, purple and green infographic with lots of illustration and text

    Infographic: Unlocking Funding to Lock Up Carbon

    PDF

    Our planet faces two urgent and interconnected crises: biodiversity loss and climate change. But there is hope. By better protecting, managing and restoring natural ecosystems, we can tackle both problems at once. More information

    DOWNLOAD
  • thumbnail preview of a blue, yellow and red infographic with lots of illustration and text

    Infographic: Rerooting Subsidies in Nature

    PDF

    Refining the way we produce food is the greatest opportunity we have to save our planet. Across the world, governments are spending hundreds of billions of dollars on harmful subsidies. More information

    DOWNLOAD
  • photo collage of silhouetted animals, people and plants overlaid with orange, green, blue and the title of report

    Resource: Biodiversity Action Guide

    PDF

    The Biodiversity Action Guide offers key strategies for increasing biodiversity conservation that are scalable—focused on protecting intact natural systems and inclusive of authentic community partnership. More information

    DOWNLOAD
  • thumbnail of report with abstract pattern and blue and yellow gradient

    Resource: Playbook for Climate Action

    PDF

    The Playbook for Climate Action showcases five innovative pathways for reducing emissions and climate impacts. A comprehensive suite of science-based solutions, the playbook presents actions governments and companies can deploy—and scale—today. More information

    DOWNLOAD
  • thumbnail of a text-based document with TNC logo

    TNC Views: IPs & LCs and the GBF

    PDF

    Views of The Nature Conservancy, Indigenous Peoples & Local Communities and the Global Biodiversity Framework, August 2021

    DOWNLOAD

Closing the Nature Funding Gap

In order to sufficiently fund the protection of nature, we need to know exactly how much we’re currently spending—and how much more is needed. In essence, we need to determine what our nature funding gap looks like. The Nature Conservancy, the Paulson Institute and the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability took a deep look at these numbers as part of our new report, “Financing Nature: Closing the Global Biodiversity Financing Gap”.

Financing Nature (1:30) Closing the nature funding gap is not just about finding the money. It’s a matter of priority: what do we value most in the world?
Closing the Global Biodiversity Financing Gap

The Paulson Institute, TNC & the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability reveal 9 critical actions to close the nature funding gap.

DOWNLOAD

We all need nature, but we are exploiting it far more rapidly than it can renew itself—and that loss comes at a price.

The food we eat, the air we breathe, our health, our climate—essentially, everything that makes Earth inhabitable—all depends on the interplay of millions of organisms in diverse ecosystems, which have learned to thrive and interact over billions of years. Biodiversity underpins planetary health and informs everything down to the taste of a grain, the strand of a cloth and a sip of water, supporting our most basic needs. Nature loss is also accelerating the climate crisis. Yet, beyond areas well-stewarded by indigenous communities, nature and wildlife are declining around the world at an unprecedented rate. To reverse this trend, we must find better ways to manage humanity's footprint on land and sea—and new ways to fund this work.


 

Governments and businesses now have an opportunity to take a critical, collective step to arrest this decline: to agree to protect at least 30 percent of the world on land and sea.

If adopted, this new framework will act as the world’s roadmap for wildlife and habitat conservation, as well as updating countries’ goals for conservation and sustainable use of living resources. The new framework should also better align with the global Sustainable Development Goals, driving home the critical role of nature in human health and well-being.


 

It will require up to $900 billion a year to reverse the global biodiversity crisis—but we’re not spending nearly that much currently.

In fact, we need an additional $700 billion a year to protect nature, according to a new report from the Paulson Institute, TNC and the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability. The number sounds daunting, but the report also lays out a number of actions policymakers and businesses can take to start closing the nature funding gap.


 

To be truly transformational, the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework must involve finance, planning, transportation, energy, and agriculture officials.

Biodiversity advocates must learn an important lesson from climate activists. Global climate action gained momentum only after it became clear that the issue was about more than the environment, and would require a transformation of transport, energy, agriculture, infrastructure, and many industries. The rapid loss of biodiversity that we are witnessing is about much more than nature. The collapse of ecosystems will threaten the wellbeing and livelihoods of everyone on the planet. The CBD (the UN Convention on Biological Diversity) must move beyond traditional notions of “conservation” to engage with all relevant sectors of the economy and civil society. Saving nature is not a task for government alone; it must be a whole-of-society effort.


 

Very little of the planet is truly "untouched." If we are to preserve the diversity of all habitats on Earth, we have to protect and manage lightly or moderately changed areas, as well as pristine landscapes.

New maps help visualize the current state of land on earth and land that is threatened with future development pressures from energy, mining and infrastructure projects around the world. These visuals show that to truly save nature, the moderately modified places—where humans have left a mark but some wild land still exists—are just as critical to conserve as the last remaining pristine areas. Can we balance this growth and meet human needs while still conserving the nature on which all life depends?


 

We urgently need to reset and reverse the path we're on—but doing so will require broad collaboration and investment. The UN biodiversity summit offers a chance to reset our relationship with nature.

Representatives from the world’s governments will convene for the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Kunming, China next year. It’s a pivotal moment for the countries that are party to the CBD to refresh and redouble their shared commitments to nature. These commitments must involve people who have the political and economic clout to drive transformational changes that interweave nature preservation throughout political and economic systems. Here are The Nature Conservancy’s top 10 recommendations to the CBD to create a new deal for nature.


 

When nature thrives, people thrive. But even when we acknowledge this truth on a planetary scale, it’s easy to lose sight of what that means to individual communities and individual people.

Even in the face of great challenges, people and nature find ways to thrive together. These nine stories of communities around the world—from Canada to Colombia and beyond—show how local leadership can have a global impact.

What You Can Do

People around the world are adding their voice to call for urgent action. Sign the Voice for the Planet pledge and explore these other resources for more ways to engage with the Nature Now campaign.

Resources for Download

  • thumbnail of a text-based document

    TNC's Conservation Finance Recommendations

    PDF

    Funding Nature, Slowing Climate Change, Securing our Future. More information

    DOWNLOAD
  • Indigenous Peoples & Local Communities and 30x30

    PDF

    The Nature Conservancy Recommendations: Indigenous Peoples & Local Communities and ’30x30’ More information

    DOWNLOAD
  • Views of The Nature Conservancy - Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities and the Global Biodiversity Framework, August 2021

    Indigenous Peoples & Local Communities and the GBF

    PDF

    Views of The Nature Conservancy, Indigenous Peoples & Local Communities and the Global Biodiversity Framework, August 2021

    DOWNLOAD
  • TNC welcomes the first draft of the Global Biodiversity Framework and provides the following recommendations for further work.

    TNC Response to the First Draft of the GBF

    TNC welcomes the first draft of the Global Biodiversity Framework and provides the following recommendations for further work.

    DOWNLOAD
  • This new social media analysis from Onalytica and TNC reveals how public understanding remains low on the importance of nature to human health and economic stability.

    Nature-Related Conversation in 2020-2021

    PDF

    This new social media analysis from Onalytica and TNC reveals how public understanding remains low on the importance of nature to human health and economic stability. More information

    DOWNLOAD
  • Icons representing different SDGs, with text that reads 'building on nature'

    Building on Nature

    PDF

    This book outlines how area-based conservation can be a key tool for delivering SDGs.

    DOWNLOAD
  • Thumbnail of a document with plain black text

    Setting Robust Biodiversity Goals

    PDF

    The new global biodiversity framework (GBF) being developed under the Convention on Biological Diversity must drive action to reverse the ongoing decline of the Earth's biodiversity. Explicit, measurable goals that specify the outcomes we want to achieve are needed to set the course for this action. Read more on Conservation Letters

    DOWNLOAD
  • thumbnail of a text-based document

    A Nature-Positive World: Global Goal for Nature

    PDF

    No succinct goal exists for nature and the global agreements that address various dimensions of biodiversity. This paper lays out an argument for the adoption of a succinct Nature-Positive Global Goal for Nature. More information on Nature Positive

    DOWNLOAD
  • Thumbnail of text-based document with NGO logos

    NGO Resource Mobilization Strategy

    Discussion paper on the Global Biodiversity Framework Resource Mobilization Strategy, April 2021

    DOWNLOAD
  • Nature Positive by 2030

    Infographic: Global Goal for Nature

    JPG

    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. More information on Nature Positive

    DOWNLOAD
  • Feedback on the Updated Zero Draft of the Post-2020 GBF, January 2021

    Joint Feedback on Updated Draft of Post-2020 GBF

    PDF

    The post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework must be a comprehensive plan and spur all sectors of society and governments into ambitious, urgent, and transformative action.

    DOWNLOAD
  • thumbnail of a document with logos and text

    NGO Coalition Statement: Public Development Banks

    TNC has joined efforts with other leading conservation organizations to identify three key opportunities for Public Development Banks to drive systemic change that addresses the biodiversity challenge. More information

    DOWNLOAD
  • Thumbnail with aerial photo of farmland and title

    COVID-19 Response and Recovery

    PDF

    A joint NGO policy paper outlining recommendations for COVID-19 Response and Recovery through nature-based solutions

    DOWNLOAD
  • Thumbnail of a document with photo of sunrise at top

    Economic Recovery Guiding Principles

    PDF

    The Nature Conservancy's guidance on an economic recovery to advance the health and well-being of people and the planet.

    DOWNLOAD
  • A photo of a seedling with title of report in white.

    Nature-Positive Recovery

    PDF

    A nature-positive recovery for people, economy and climate includes principles for investing in nature-based jobs and initiatives to stimulate the post-COVID economy. Visit Nature4Climate's site

    DOWNLOAD
  • Thumbnail of PDF with blue text

    Businesses Call for Policy Action

    PDF

    TNC supports the Business for Nature coalition in accelerating policies to curb biodiversity loss. Download to read their statement. Visit Business for Nature

    DOWNLOAD
  • Image of a document on a white background.

    TNC's Position on Global Biodiversity Framework

    PDF

    See The Nature Conservancy's response to the Zero Draft of Global Biodiversity Framework.

    DOWNLOAD
  • Three globes show different values of modified land.

    Infographics: Human Nature—Visualized

    PDF

    Download three infographics showing the current extent of land change on Earth, what future changes might look like, and what is driving these changes. More information

    DOWNLOAD
  • Thumbnail for Joint Statement

    NGO Joint Statement on Biodiversity

    PDF

    Pillars of a Deal for Nature and People in 2020

    DOWNLOAD

In The News

  • a young zebra stares at camera

    Sustaining Conservation in a Pandemic

    The pandemic has slowed visits to national parks and wildlife reserves. In order to protect ecosystems that sustain livelihoods and attract visitors, conservation groups must find alternate sources of funding. Read More

  • Yellow fish swim through a coral reef in shallow water

    Five takeaways from the EU’s new biodiversity strategy

    The European Union unveiled a blueprint to address the biodiversity crisis. Here are five key takeaways, including fewer chemicals in farming, restoration of ecosystems, more protected areas and 3 billion new trees. Read More

  • Colorful parrots flying away from a body of water

    COVID-19 disrupts a major year for biodiversity policy and planning

    Experts worry the world will lose critical time to turn around alarming trends in biodiversity loss and climate change, and that the resources allocated to fight COVID-19 might mean fewer resources for biodiversity initiatives later on. Read More

  • A Yunnan golden monkey sits amidst the trees

    Extinction: Meet the new poster animals of conservation

    A new study compiles a list of hundreds of mammals, birds and reptiles that could act as new flagship species. They are charismatic in their own right, but often overlooked in favor of more iconic alternatives. Read More

  • A sharp divide shows rich forest and deforested area.

    A Transformative Deal for Nature

    Delegates from around the world will gather to complete a new global agreement for protecting and conserving the world's natural systems. To succeed, they must bring together officials with the clout to effect change across entire economies. Read More

Global Insights

Check out our latest thinking and real-world solutions to some of the most complex challenges facing people and the planet today.