“The pandemic is a reminder of the intimate and delicate relationship between people and planet. Any efforts to make our world safer are doomed to fail unless they address the critical interface between people and pathogens, and the existential threat of climate change, that is making our Earth less habitable”
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization
On November 20, 2020, a bold new declaration made by the 20 member organizations of the Wildlife Conservation 20 was shared with global leaders at the G20 summit. The declaration focuses on increasing our unified efforts and commitments to protect wildlife, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and its relationship to wildlife trafficking. Read and share the full declaration here: https://www.spaceforgiants.org/WC20
As a proud member of WC20, the Jane Goodall Institute was represented by Zara Bending, JGI WC20 rep, and wildlife trafficking expert. She shared the essential insights below as to why it is so urgent that we commit to this declaration, and the actions it implores global countries to take.
The estimated annual global economic cost of wildlife crime is USD1-2 trillion, with more than 90% of these losses attributable to loss from ecosystem services provided by forests, wildlife, and coastal resources. Factor in other causes of biodiversity loss and that number skyrockets. What emerged from our exchanges as a group over this last week was how simply redirecting existing funds would deliver return on investment for present and future generations of life on Earth, including thriving economies and healthy populations.
At JGI, we often talk about Earth’s wildlife paying the ultimate price for human greed while having hope that we have a small window of time to turn the tide. Proactive and decisive action from the G20 offers an incredible opportunity to heal so much of what we have done to make our planet ill. Together with our colleagues at WC20, we recognize that the Covid-19 pandemic is a symptom of our maltreatment of nature, and we must take action now to safeguard a future worth fighting for.
We are proud signatories of the WC20 Declaration, not only for its content, but in how it demonstrates what can be achieved through collaboration, leadership, and commitment to evidence-based solutions to heal our ailing planet. We hope the G20 will take that spirit forward as deliberations take place.
Zara Bending, JGI WC20 rep and wildlife trafficking expert
African Parks, African Wildlife Foundation BirdLife International, Born Free Foundation, Conservation International, Education for Nature Vietnam, Global Initiative to End Wildlife Crime, Environmental Investigation Agency, Fauna & Flora International, Frankfurt Zoological Society Freeland, the Jane Goodall Institute, Paradise Foundation, International Space for Giants, The Nature Conservancy, TRAFFIC, WildAid, Wildlife Conservation Society, WWF, ZSL (Zoological Society of London).
The Jane Goodall Institute is a global community conservation organization that advances the vision and work of Dr. Jane Goodall. By protecting chimpanzees and inspiring people to conserve the natural world we all share, we improve the lives of people, animals and the environment. Everything is connected—everyone can make a difference.