Each week, One Earth will be featuring a webinar recap from organizations and scientists around the world that focus on important topics such as biodiversity, conservation, food justice, and the intersections of environmental and human health.
In September 2021, a historic policy debate will occur on the floor of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) World Conservation Congress. The IUCN is one of the world’s leading conservation governance organizations, with an official United Nations observer status, and many of their policies lead the way for global change around the world. This debate centers around Motion 101 which provides “an opportunity for humanity to take the first step towards restoring a just, respectful, and sustainable relationship with nature.” Motion 101 proposes that protecting at least half of Earth’s land and seas should become the official recommendation of the IUCN to the UN. A discussion was held on behalf of the WILD Foundation and the Nature Needs Half organization to promote this new policy plan, what the public can do to help, and how in order to save our planet from global temperature rise, “nature needs half.”
Harvey Locke, a chair member of the Nature Needs Half Steering Committee, leads us in with a stark reality, “nature is declining at a rapid rate.” Currently, there is a heatwave with parts of the American Pacific Northwest breaking record temperatures reaching as high as 117℉, one million species are at risk of extinction, and these impacts are becoming more and more irreversible the longer we wait. The glimmer of hope is that the solution is a digestible three-step process, we need renewable production, sustainable consumption, and to protect nature. However, because of the urgency of the climate crisis we are in, these solutions must be measurable, provable, and be able to scale worldwide now. That is precisely what Motion 101 and the Nature Needs Half movement are ready to provide to the IUCN, the UN, and to the world.
Right now, the current target worldwide is to protect and conserve 17% of lands and 10% of oceans. This target was created by policymakers, not scientists. The largest survey, which included 363 scientists from around the world, found them in overwhelming agreement that the current standard is not enough and that 50% should be the goal. Indigenous communities as well as reports put out by France and the EU also confirm this new objective. It is with this collection of support that Motion 101 calls for two actions, that the Director General of the IUCN and the entire organization support area-based conservation targets with the goal of protecting, conserving, and restoring at least half or more of our planet, and encourages state and government agency members to implement this goal.
Motion 101, with its objective of “Nature Needs Half,” will be presented at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Marseilles, France later this year. Yet, it needs public engagement to be legitimately heard and considered. Amy Lewis, VP of Communications & Policy at the WILD Foundation, presented an online toolkit that is available for free. In the kit, there are graphics, videos, captions, and various other forms of content that anyone can use, and is encouraged to use, across social platforms to spread the news of the importance of Motion 101. The most significant way to contribute to the movement is to post one of the content pieces each day, in conjunction with the calendar provided, and to use the hashtag #IUCNCongress, as this is where members of the committee get their information and feedback from the public. Nature Needs Half and the WILD Foundation hope to flood the channel with this hashtag to let leaders know that the public now demands a nature positive world.