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The natural collapse is on the verge of investment, ‘Wildlife Conservation 20’ warns the G20

BirdLife International today joined 20 of the world’s leading conservation organizations and urged the G20 to urgently invest in nature to protect biodiversity and thereby reduce the risk of future pandemics.

World leaders gathering in Riyadh this weekend will have a unique opportunity to step into the specifications of the COVID-19 recovery plans to preserve the health of the planets and reset human interactions with nature.

Conservation investment costs are a fraction of the estimated $ 26 trillion economic damage that COVID-19 has already caused. An estimated $ 700 billion per year investment would reverse the decline in biodiversity by 2030. That’s about a fortieth of the cost of the economic aftermath of the current pandemic.

A significant portion of this investment could come from diverting existing harmful funding, for example into subsidies that encourage deforestation and environmental degradation.

While the exact source of the virus remains uncertain, scientists agree that just like HIV, Ebola, SARS, avian flu, and MERS, COVID-19 is zoonotic: it jumped from animals to people, likely due to our increasing interaction with and encroachment on the wild living animals and their habitats.

The pandemic, which to date has killed 1.3 million people and affected hundreds more millions, is considered one of the worst and most urgent warnings that our current relationship with nature is unsustainable. The ongoing destruction of nature on our common planet can be significantly reduced with positive economic and environmental results.

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Investing in nature – including ending deforestation, controlling the wildlife trade, and improving the livelihoods of people living in or dependent on natural landscapes – is not a luxury alongside pandemic recovery, according to WC20.

Protecting biodiversity is a fundamental part of government recovery plans, which will significantly reduce the risk of future pandemics and prevent similar or greater harm to people, the economy and the environment.

Investing in the health of the planets promotes green growth and jobs and is essential to tackling the effects of climate change and achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement.

With the world’s livelihoods impacted by COVID-19, there is unprecedented public consensus and support around the world that governments act now to protect and restore healthier relationships with nature

This is the turning point that led BirdLife International to help found Wildlife Conservation 20 (WC20) and bring together 20 of the most well-known conservation NGOs that are at the forefront of protecting wildlife and ecosystems.

Patricia Zurita, CEO of BirdLife International, said: “COVID-19 is a wake up call for everyone on this planet. The moment has now come when we must value nature conservation and invest in it by developing sustainable, nature-based stimulus packages. BirdLife believes that access to a healthy planet should be a universal human right and this urgent call complements our 1planet1right.org campaign to make it happen.

Otherwise, the natural world we all rely on cannot protect us and ensure our current and long-term well-being. The investment of the remediation funds in nature not only protects our economies, but also our health. ”

This November 21st and 22nd in Riyadh, when the G20 meets, they must take the lead to tackle this crisis. “

These organizations make up the WC20:

African parks

African Wildlife Foundation

BirdLife International

Born Free Foundation

Conservation International

Education for Nature Vietnam

Global initiative too

End Wildlife Crime

Environmental Investigation Agency

Fauna & Flora International

Frankfurt Zoological Society

Free country

Jane Goodall Institute

Paradise Foundation International

Space for giants




Wildlife Conservation Society


ZSL (London Zoological Society)


Notes for editors

BirdLife International is the world’s largest nature conservation partnership. Together we are over 100 BirdLife partners worldwide – one per country or region – and we are growing.

BirdLife’s vision is a world full of biodiversity, in which humans and nature live in harmony. We are driven by our conviction that the local people, who work for nature in their own places, but are connected nationally and internationally through our global partnership, are the key to the preservation of all life on this planet. This unique local-global approach offers high impact and long-term conservation for the benefit of nature and people.

Ahead of the G20 Summit of Heads of State and Government on November 21 and 22 in Riyadh, Space for Giants and ESI Media hosted a high-level virtual summit of WC20 CEOs and senior executives on November 19 to agree a joint statement in set of priority actions for world leaders.

The full text of the statement is available at spaceforgiants.org/WC20. In summary, the recommendations of the WC20 are:

  • Policy and implementation: Strengthening, adequate resources and implementation of existing international and national legal provisions as well as the adoption of new legal provisions to ensure the legal, sustainable and traceable use of natural resources, including wild animals, which no longer endanger human or animal health.
  • Prosecution: Expand financial and technical support for law enforcement in key wildlife source states, transit hubs, and destination countries / areas. Adopt a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to effective wildlife crime deterrence.
  • Protection of natural ecosystems: Get government support, adequate finances and technical expertise to effectively protect and manage natural ecosystems and wildlife so that they are valued and protected and become producers of economic prosperity and commit to 30% from land and sea across land to scale coming decade.
  • Supporting indigenous peoples and local communities: Recognition of and respect for the rights of IPLCs who live in and / or dependent on natural ecosystems in order to improve human well-being, reduce the pressure of human and animal coexistence and to increase the loss of natural habitats and the associated wildlife decrease, stop and reverse you keep.
  • Reduce demand: Work with government agencies, stakeholders, civil society and key influencers to educate the public about the dangers of zoonotic spillovers and reduce their risks. Raising public awareness of illegally and / or unsustainably exploited wild animals and their products and reducing the demand for them

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