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Award the Nobel Peace Prize to Nature's Protectors

The Nobel Committee's decision to award the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was instrumental in thrusting global warming to the forefront of the global policy agenda. Now, the same should be done to recognize the organization that has done the most work on the crisis of biodiversity loss.

BOGOTÁ – Biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people around the world are declining at an unprecedented rate. Species extinctions are accelerating, with grave implications for human health, food and water security, and poverty reduction.

We must show solidarity with the one million species of animals and plants that are now threatened with extinction. Nature is a life insurance policy for the world’s 7.8 billion people. By protecting it, we will also be defending an irreplaceable economic resource. According to a January 2020 report from the World Economic Forum, over half of global GDP is dependent on “natural services” such as pollination, water purification, and disease control. Preserving biodiversity and ecosystems thus provides security against a wide range of threats, from food and water crises to violent conflicts fueled by resource scarcity.

The years 2021 and 2022 will be milestones in the global effort to preserve and restore nature. The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s quadrennial World Conservation Congress in Marseille last month paved the way for the United Nations Biodiversity Conference in Kunming, China (which will be held in two parts, first in October and then next April). There, representatives from around the world are expected to adopt an ambitious new framework for saving nature.

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