The Global Conservation Initiative

Stepping up to the Challenge of Global Biodiversity Loss

Ecosystems across the globe are in steep decline.  Scientists estimate that two-thirds of all species could be on the brink of extinction by the end of this century as a result.  Protecting biodiversity and ecosystems benefits the U.S. and the entire world:

 

  • Biodiversity and other natural resources underpin much of the global economy, including forestry, tourism, fishing, and agriculture.  Half the people on the planet live in countries whose economies are entirely dependent on natural resources that are disappearing.
  • Wild animals, birds, and insects contribute hundreds of billions of dollars a year to world agriculture through pollination and insect control.   
  • Intact forests slow climate change and prevent flooding and drought; healthy coral reefs and mangroves reduce coastal storm impacts.
  • More than one-quarter of all medicines contain ingredients derived from natural areas.   

American Leadership toward a Global Solution

The Pew Environment Group, Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy, Wildlife Conservation Society and The World Wildlife Fund are calling on the U.S. to lead industrialized nations in funding a comprehensive global conservation strategy capable of protecting major terrestrial wilderness areas and critical areas of marine diversity.  This will require making conservation a higher priority in foreign assistance budgets.  And some funding could eventually come from new carbon markets set up to confront climate change—because deforestation releases more greenhouse gases than almost any other activity.

Scientists estimate we have only a decade to boost conservation efforts to address this crisis or we face irreversible losses. The U.S. and other governments must work to meet the challenge of this crisis today.

For more information, visit the Alliance for Global Conservation Web site.

Photo Credit: Thomas Mangelsen/Minden Pictures

Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but the Pew Environment Group is part of the Alliance for Global Conservation which is working to protect the world's last natural areas and rapidly disappearing biodiversity.

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