We need a new deal for nature and people

Marco Lambertini

Director General, WWF International

Posted on 12 June 2019

The relationship between humans and the planet is dangerously unbalanced.

Wildlife populations have fallen by 60% since 1970. And this loss is causing profound and disastrous changes to the ecosystems that all life on Earth depends.

Nature is our life-support system. From the fresh air we breathe to the soil that nurtures our crops, people need nature to survive and thrive. But we're losing nature faster than it can restore itself. 

Unless we urgently change course, there will be catastrophic impacts for life on Earth. 

In 2020 we must set a new and sustainable direction for our planet. This means government and business leaders and society at large agreeing to restore nature by 2030 – while still delivering on commitments to tackle climate change and improve people’s lives. 

We call this a New Deal for Nature and People – and every one of us can help make this happen.


The New Deal for Nature and People.


This deal need to be universally endorsed by everyone from political and business leaders, to communities and individuals.

If we get it right, we will create an unstoppable movement for nature similar to when the world came together to tackle climate change.

We are determined to play our part in creating this new deal and delivering the fundamental changes required to reverse the loss of nature.

Firstly we need a new narrative that, alongside recognizing the intrinsic value of nature and the moral imperative for us to coexist with the diversity of life we share the planet with, also positions nature and biodiversity at the centre of the sustainable development agenda.

The logic is simple: there is not going to be a prosperous, just and secure future for us in a degraded planet.

To achieve a New Deal for Nature and People we also need to raise our ambition and scale up action.

Science is clear on what are the problems and the solutions to bend the curve of nature loss. The way we produce food on land, we fish the oceans, we use forests and river systems, we extract minerals and build infrastructure are today’s main drivers of nature loss.


Using technology and a mind-shift towards long-term planning that benefits all, will allow us to do all these things but in balance with, and not at the cost of, the natural environment.

This is true sustainable development or, as the Chinese would say, a new 'eco-civilisation'.

We relish this incredible challenge. It is about changing our relationship with the planet − the most existential opportunity that our civilisation has ever faced.