Almost all of our economic activity relies on nature. If we donâ€™t tackle the nature loss crisis, we risk huge disruption to the worldâ€™s economies and harm to the lives and livelihoods of many millions.
And the threat is growing, as shown by the latest WEF Global Risk Report. For the first time, its 2020 report found that the top five risks facing the world in the coming year were all linked to the environment. They included biodiversity loss, climate change and extreme weather events.
The cost of business as usual
If the world carries on with business as usual rather than protecting our natural assets, the impact on the key services provided by nature â€“ from carbon storage to crop pollination - will cost $10 trillion cumulatively by 2050.
In contrast, we would see substantial economic gains ($US 230 billion by 2050) if we focused instead on sustainable development that helped to protect and restore nature.
0.67% of global GDP
Pollinators mean business
Pollinators such as bees, birds and butterflies are estimated to be responsible for between US$235 and US$577 billion worth of crops every year.
Three out of four crops producing fruit or seeds for human food depend on pollinators. Unfortunately, they are in decline in some regions of the world due to climate change, habitat loss, and the spread of disease and pests.
What can you do?
If we continue to destroy the natural world, we will see more outbreaks like COVID-19, and the next pandemic could be even more deadly and costly.