Welcome to HUMANATURE! Nature is under pressure from humans as never before. We must see ourselves as an integral part of nature, not separate from or superior to it. It’s time for us all to take action, locally, nationally and globally, to slow human population growth and help protect our precious planet and the species we share it with. Read more below, get involved and spread the word!
WE ARE THE PROBLEM …
The diversity of life on Earth is essential to the health of our planet and to our own wellbeing and survival. But we are exacting a heavy toll on it.
The biodiversity crisis is stark. According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, a quarter of mammals, a third of coral reefs, a third of conifer trees and two-fifths of amphibians are at risk of going extinct. These are just a handful of examples.
In 2019, it was estimated that one million species are threatened with extinction, and that only one quarter of land areas and one third of oceans remain relatively undamaged by human activity.
The biodiversity crisis is so profound that scientists have established we are in a sixth mass extinction. The fifth was the disappearance of the dinosaurs.
Our footprints are all over this crisis. Our need for food, water and land, and our demands for energy and more and more stuff are destroying the Earth’s biodiversity at an alarming rate.
Biodiversity loss has several primary drivers. By far the biggest culprit is habitat destruction, followed by the overexploitation of wild species. These are joined by pollution, climate change, and invasive species and disease. Human population growth acts as a driver of all these factors.
‘’All our environmental problems become easier to solve with fewer people, and harder – and ultimately impossible – to solve with ever more people.’’Sir David Attenborough, PM Patron
… AND WE ARE THE SOLUTION
Every one of us places demands upon our planet – the very demands that have caused the changes that threaten us and the natural world we depend on.
The good news is that we are the solution. We can all play a part in turning things around.
As individuals and communities, we can take action, locally, nationally and globally, to help slow population growth, and live more sustainably in harmony with nature.
Join us to help make these things a reality.
TAKE ACTION TO SAVE THE PLANET
Together, we can make a positive impact and help nature on the path to recovery. Read more and get involved.
BE A CHAMPION FOR INSECTS
Be part of our first HUMANATURE initiative – Insect Populations Matter!
Insects are at the heart of the health of the natural world, but their populations globally are in decline due to a range of human-induced threats. The good news is that we can all take action as individuals where we live to protect them and boost their numbers.
From pesticide use to habitat destruction, human activity is driving the loss of insects across the world. Without them, food webs and whole ecosystems fail, threatening the existence of all other species, including us humans.
‘’We just have to learn to live as part of nature, not apart from it. And the first step is to start looking after the insects, the little creatures that make our shared world go round… Insects are essential for life as we know it. As they become more scarce, our world will slowly grind to a halt, for it cannot function without them.’’Professor Dave Goulson, Silent Earth: Averting the Insect Apocalypse
Visit our Insect Populations Matter page to learn more about insect decline and the reasons behind it. Also see some practical actions you can take at home and in your local community to help our crucial insect populations!
You can also read about how pesticides are adversely affecting insects, including bees, here. If you are resident in the UK, please sign this Parliamentary petition entitled Save the bees: cut hazardous pesticides and support nature-friendly farming. If the petition, which will be active until 28 December 2022, reaches 100,000 signatures, it will be considered for debate in the UK Parliament.
PUSH POPULATION UP THE AGENDA
We need your support to make tackling population an integral part of government action and international agreements to protect nature. United Nations projections show that if we start taking action now, we can start bringing our numbers down to a more sustainable level within the next few decades. But the issue needs to be explicitly recognised first.
In December 2022, the world’s nations adopted the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF). The GBF is the international plan to combat global biodiversity loss and is intended to ensure that by 2050 humans are living in harmony with nature.
The responsibility for enacting the GBF now falls to national governments. Later this year, we’ll need your help to influence selected national governments to integrate policies concerning population growth into their strategies and plans.
FIGHT FOR WOMEN’S AND GIRLS’ RIGHTS
Unsustainable population growth is not inevitable. You can help us to promote the positive solutions that already exist to slow it. Empowering women and girls is at the heart of those solutions.
Providing women and girls access to modern family planning, quality education and equality with men empowers them to choose when and how many children to have. Multiple benefits arise for them, their communities and the planet.
With your support, we will continue to pressure the UK Government to reverse its aid cuts to family planning. These are disastrous not only for women’s and girls’ rights, health and well-being, but also for the Earth’s biodiversity, and the climate.
Internationally, we will also continue to urge that the UN Convention on Biological Diversity’s Gender Plan of Action addresses the fundamental importance to women of access to voluntary, human rights-based modern family planning services.
We all need to live more sustainable lives. Our individual consumption patterns, particularly in wealthy nations, are destroying nature and the climate. And our economic systems don’t take account of the costs to the natural world that they depend on. Things must change … join us in making that change!
WHAT COMES NEXT
As the HUMANATURE campaign develops, we’ll be promoting more solutions to protect nature and enhance our lives. Look out for more on:
- Agricultural expansion (particularly livestock farming), driven by the need to feed ever more people and to satisfy our growing demand for meat and dairy products. Agriculture is the main cause of habitat destruction, particularly deforestation, and biodiversity loss.
- The threat of drought and desertification, driven by climate change and population growth
- Indigenous peoples’ practices around protecting biodiversity, and how they can be used to help us all live more sustainably.
- The Population Health Environment (PHE) development model, which integrates conservation with action to promote the well-being of human communities and empowerment and family planning to reduce population pressures on biodiversity where people live.
We look forward to engaging you in the HUMANATURE campaign over the coming months. In the meantime, visit out Insect Population Matters page and get involved in protecting the tiny creatures we all depend on!