Sir David Attenborough supports global deal for nature in 2020
Sir David Attenborough has urged political and business leaders to take renewed collective action preserving the natural world, warning that the “Garden of Eden is no more”.
Speaking to Prince William at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos today, the renowned naturalist and broadcaster said it was “difficult to overstate” the gravity of the risks facing the natural world.
The 92-year-old warned that human beings now have the ability to exterminate whole ecosystems without even knowing – a notion that was “quite foreign” to scientists back in the 1950s.
Sir David gave his support to the WWF’s call for a new global deal for nature and people in 2020, an agreement that would aim to halt and reverse biodiversity loss across the world.
He told delegates: “We have to recognise that every breath of air we take, every mouthful of food we take comes from the natural world, and that if we damage the natural world, we damage ourselves.
“The future of the natural world is in our hands – we have never been more powerful and we can wreck it with ease. We are destroying the natural world and with it ourselves.”
The call from Sir David comes after a report from the WWF found that wildlife population sizes have plummeted by 60% on average since 1970.
It highlighted overuse of natural resources and agricultural activity as the dominant causes of current wildlife declines and the destruction of forests, oceans and landscapes
According to the WWF, a new global deal for nature and people would put the environment at the heart of economic, social and financial systems via a series of international agreements.
This must include, in a significant way, the private sector and industry, as well as civil society, and the development and adoption of science-based targets to work towards.
Sir David continued: “We have this option ahead of us, and we have to take the option of protecting the natural world, and we are discovering more ways in which we can do so.
“There is no longer any need for us to pollute the world. We have the power and the knowledge to live in harmony with nature.”
Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM