Sir David Attenborough has called for an annual investment of $500 billion to help conserve natural ecosystems and protect biodiversity.
The TV personality and naturalist made the statement a few hours before the UN Summit on Biodiversity on September 30th. Attenborough sent the world a warning, saying that our planet is “in grave jeopardy”. He offered a ray of hope, however, when he added that it’s possible to “reverse catastrophic biodiversity loss, but time is running out”.
Attenborough teamed up with Flora and Fauna International to kick off the “Our One Home” campaign, backed by over 100 other conservation groups. The campaign calls for governments to divest from fossil fuels and put the money towards financing conservationists, and people who, according to Attenborough, “know best how to spend it.”
Currently, efforts toward conserving biodiversity see between $80 to 90 billion annually, but many say that it’s simply not enough, as governments spend over $5 trillion a year on fossil fuel subsidies, according to Flora and Fauna.
David Attenborough has also taken to social media to further push the call for protecting the world’s biodiversity.
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David Attenborough has spent a lifetime travelling, exploring the wild places of our planet and documenting the living world in all its variety and wonder. He’s also witnessed the damaged caused. Saving our planet is now a communications challenge. We know what to do, we just need the will. That’s why we want to share this message on Instagram. Because there is hope and together, we can inspire change. Social media isn’t David’s usual habitat so while he’s recorded messages solely for Instagram, like the one in this post, we're helping to run this account. In case you’re wondering, ‘we’ are Jonnie and Colin and we worked with David on A Life On Our Planet. So, as well as sharing the messages he’s recorded especially for this account we’ll also post some exclusive clips and behind the scenes content. Stay tuned.
Attenborough made his first appearance on Instagram last Thursday, breaking records by reaching 1 million followers in just under 3 hours. While he’s known for being on TV, Attenborough turned to social media to more closely connect with the public and raise awareness of the climate crisis.
Sir Attenborough will be releasing more videos in the coming weeks, leading up to the premiere of his new documentary, David Attenborough: A Life on our Planet.
The “Our One Home” campaign comes at a time when we’re seeing more climate-related disasters, as wildfires have raged across multiple continents, and the Atlantic is seeing its busiest hurricane season yet.
We’re also seeing the massive toll that humanity has had on global biodiversity. According to Flora and Fauna, over 70% of the global wildlife population has perished in the last 50 years, and if current trends continue, we’re expected to lose 1 million species by the end of this century.