‘The way forward for life on Earth lies within the stability’ – an image essay | Surroundings

Virtually 600 conservation consultants have signed the Call4Nature open letter written by wildlife charity WWF, which is being printed to coincide with the IPBES report (see letter beneath).


“We’re overfishing our oceans at an alarming fee and choking them with plastic and different pollution. If we wish to see wholesome seas that may proceed to offer us with meals, we have to cease this over-exploitation, shield our unbelievable marine environments and make sustainable fishing the norm, as we see right here.”
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, chef and vice-president of Fauna and Flora Worldwide

A boat fishing

  • A ship fishing for bluefin tuna within the Mediterranean Sea, which is just allowed for one month a 12 months, from 15 Might to 15 June

“I spent a month on a bluefin fishing boat and from what I’ve seen all of the ICCAT (Worldwide Fee for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna) rules had been revered. Fishermen I talked with appeared to have developed an environmental consciousness – not less than they perceive the significance of protecting the bluefin shielded from overfishing, so as to proceed fishing and making a dwelling out of it.”
Antonio Busiello, photographer


“Yearly hundreds of thousands of hectares of pristine tropical rainforest are misplaced for the manufacturing of beef, soy, timber and palm oil. These magnificent forests retailer large quantities of carbon and are residence to a few of our planet’s biggest wildlife. Their safety is essential to cease runaway local weather change and halt the sixth mass extinction.”
Jack Harries, film-maker activist and WWF ambassador


  • Elephants stroll by means of an oil palm plantation and eat the trunks of felled previous oil palm bushes at Sabah Softwoods in Sabah, Borneo, Indonesia

“I had very blended feelings when taking this picture. I used to be struck with a way of disappointment at seeing the elephants in a seemingly unnatural atmosphere for them. Equally, I used to be greatly surprised by watching them use this atmosphere to their benefit as a meals supply, and the efforts of plantation homeowners to create wildlife corridors inside their plantations to allow elephants to journey to connecting forest areas. I really feel that it actually highlights the threats that the species faces, but additionally demonstrates the resilience they should with the ability to adapt to a altering panorama.”
Chris Ratcliffe, photographer

Wildlife commerce

“The world is waking as much as the truth that pangolins are going through extinction because of the unlawful wildlife commerce. Sadly, their pure defence is a present to traffickers. When threatened they roll into a decent ball. This protects them from predators within the wild, however allows criminals to move them with ease, similar to footballs. To avoid wasting these exceptional creatures, we have to unfold the phrase and push to cease this unlawful commerce.”
Paul De Ornellas, chief wildlife adviser at WWF

One of the ‘pangolin men’ of Zimbabwe

“The person on this photograph tends to this pangolin each day, making certain its rehabilitation after being seized in anti-poaching operations. The picture displays the load of human duty concerned within the species and our world’s tomorrow. What we do to the animals we’ll find yourself doing to ourselves. Our very futures are intertwined for ever.”
Adrian Stern, photographer

Plastic air pollution

“Nature is our life help system and with out it our lives on this earth can be inconceivable and unimaginable. We now have to cease seeing the pure world as one thing to be exploited and brought without any consideration. Nature issues to me and it ought to matter to you. We have to put extra worth on our pure belongings and cease destroying our treasured planet.”
Chris Packham, TV presenter, naturalist and founding father of Wild Justice

A gannet hangs from a cliff, entangled in plastic fibres at RSPB Grassholm Island, Wales, UK

  • A gannet hangs from a cliff, entangled in plastic fibres at RSPB Grassholm Island, Wales, UK

“Simply eight miles off the Welsh mainland, RSPB Grassholm Island needs to be a paradise for gannets, however in recent times it has turn into a dwelling hell. I visited the island with a rescue workforce, who go to annually to chop free the entangled birds. This panicked grownup gannet struggled because it dangled from a cliffside, with ropes twisted round its neck like a hangman’s noose. The courageous volunteers risked their very own lives to creep to the sting of the clifftop and rescue this chook from its demise sentence.”
Sam Hobson, photographer

Land degradation

“Humankind has already critically altered three-quarters of Earth’s land surfaces – with no trace of respite. If we’re really to stay throughout the sustainable bounds of our extraordinary planet and go away the area for nature that it so desperately wants, we’ve to step again and be extra thoughtful about the best way we deal with our world. Greater than that, we should actively work to restore the blatant harm we’ve executed. And we’ve to do this instantly; beginning at the moment.”
Mark Wright, director of science at WWF

Aerial view of a cocktail of toxic chemicals and hydrocarbons at Tar Pit #4, Alberta Tar Sands, Canada

“Vans the scale of a home seem like tiny toys as they rumble alongside large roads in a piece of a mine. The most important of their sort, these 400 ton-capacity dump vehicles are 47.5ft lengthy, 32.5ft extensive, and 25ft excessive. Inside their dimensions you could possibly construct a 3,000 sq ft residence. The size of what we see on this picture is really unfathomable. It’s been reported that the panorama being industrialised by Tar Sands improvement might simply accommodate one Florida, two New Brunswicks, 4 Vancouvers, and 4 Vancouver Islands.”
Garth Lenz, photographer

Polar ice cap melting

“The Arctic is in meltdown – it’s warming over twice as quick as the worldwide common. Local weather change signifies that walrus, polar bears and folks could quickly face an ice-free Arctic ocean in the course of the summer season, except we take pressing motion now. Although it might appear distant, the impacts felt within the Arctic will not be restricted to nationwide borders … Nature is crying out for assist in each nook of the planet, and it’s time for us to hear earlier than we lose the wonders we take without any consideration.”
Rod Downie, chief polar adviser at WWF

Waterfalls cascade in to the sea from the Austfonna polar ice cap on Nordaustlandet in the Svalbard archipelago, Norway

“I discovered the picture I wished while main an expedition to Svalbard.The holy grail is to get the waterfalls from it, like we see within the picture, a pure phenomenon that solely used to happen within the warmest few weeks of the arctic summer season. Not now. In recent times I’ve seen the waterfalls at instances of the season after I’ve by no means anticipated to. And never only one or two waterfalls however many. This dramatic distinction is a warning of issues to come back and one I used to be decided to file.”
Andy Rouse, photographer

Freshwater habitats

“River dolphin populations in Asia are plummeting as a result of human actions akin to dam constructing, fishing, boat site visitors and air pollution. We can not permit that to occur to one of many Amazon’s most charismatic mammals. We have to act quick to avoid wasting this species and keep away from the destiny of the baiji, the primary river dolphin species pushed to extinction by people. Our freshwater habitats – together with lakes, rivers and wetlands – are probably the most threatened of all our international habitats. We all know that populations of freshwater species have suffered large declines since 1970 – falling a median of 83%. That’s a staggering and miserable determine. Our rivers and streams are the blue arteries of our world. With out thriving freshwater habitats, our planet won’t survive.”
Damian Fleming, director of conservation at WWF

Federico Mosquera, endangered species coordinator from Omacha Foundation, a Colombian non-profit working in wildlife conservation issues, with a captured Amazon river dolphin

  • Federico Mosquera, endangered species coordinator from Omacha Basis, a Colombian non-profit working in wildlife conservation points, with a captured Amazon River Dolphin

“Federico Mosquera soothes a not too long ago captured Amazon river dolphin, the primary of its sort to be tagged with a GPS tracker. Amazon river dolphins are extraordinarily tactile animals and direct contact appears to have a chilled impact.

In 2017, WWF Bolivia, Brazil, and Colombia coordinated a tri-national effort to tag and research Amazon river dolphins, making use of satellite tv for pc GPS know-how in a ground-breaking mission, to higher perceive river dolphin well being and migratory patterns.

Many internet casts had been unsuccessfully and the exhaustion and despair had been beginning to take a toll on the workforce till lastly, on the sixth day, they managed to efficiently tag one dolphin. Solely after the dolphin was launched, did they permit themselves to blow up in pleasure and tears.

It was a memorable second and I imagine this picture captures very effectively the profound respect that Federico, the workforce’s main biologist, has for this species of dolphins and the immense stress that he was underneath in the course of the mission. It additionally symbolises the intimate connection that we’ve with wildlife.”
Jaime Rojo, photographer

Wildlife corridors

“Tigers can journey over 100km to determine their very own territories, so these connecting habitats are essential for wild tiger inhabitants restoration, and to assist obtain the worldwide objective to double the variety of wild tigers by 2022, from as few as 3,200 in 2010. Nonetheless, they’re underneath stress from habitat loss and poaching. It’s essential that we do all we are able to to keep up and join their habitats, and shield tigers from being hunted. We’re seeing tiger populations recuperate in areas the place that is occurring, which provides us nice hope of defending these unbelievable creatures for the longer term.”
Rebecca Might, tiger conservation supervisor at WWF

A tiger stares out from its lush forest habitat, traversing one of a series of dedicated wildlife corridors between the National Parks of Bhutan.

“After I take a look at this picture, I can’t assist pondering that we stay in an unbelievable planet. All on this picture is the results of hundreds of thousands of years of evolution, of labor, to make it as excellent as it’s. It reveals one other world, unknown to most people, one thing extra stunning and jaw-dropping than any science fiction film. It makes me wish to combat twice as onerous to cease the present insanity of the world.” Emmanuel Rondeau, photographer

The Call4Nature letter

Pricey world leaders

Nature offers us with the meals we eat, the air we breathe and the water we drink. We rely on it to develop our crops, to supply our medicines, to accommodate us and to dress us. After we destroy nature, we destroy the necessities on which all of us rely.

At this time IPBES (Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Providers, www.ipbes.internet) – the unbiased international scientific physique on biodiversity of greater than 130 governments – publishes its report on the present state of life on Earth. The report paints an alarming image of species extinctions, wildlife inhabitants declines, habitat loss and depletion of ecosystem companies − including to the prevailing wealth of proof that we’re dropping nature at a dramatic and unsustainable fee.

The report additionally makes clear the reason for this destruction: us. We’re slicing down our forests, overfishing our seas, polluting our rivers, degrading our soils and altering our local weather. This poses an pressing menace to all life on Earth – together with ourselves.

There’s nonetheless time to guard what’s left and to start out restoring nature. However to do this, we should transform the best way we stay, together with how we use vitality to energy our societies, develop our meals, and handle our waste. That is an immense activity however most of the options are already at hand.

Every of us has a task to play in bringing about this transformational change. However we’d like you, our political leaders, to steer − and to set us on a path to a future the place folks and nature thrive.

Subsequent 12 months, there may be an unmissable alternative to decide on a brand new path for folks and the planet. Vital international selections can be made on biodiversity, local weather change and sustainable improvement at a collection of UN conferences in 2020. Collectively, these kind an motion plan for change, an actual New Deal for nature and folks.

However for this to occur, we’d like decisive and bold motion from you. That’s why at the moment:

We name on you to cease funding actions that destroy nature.

We name on you to place an finish to deforestation and land degradation.

We name on you to guard our oceans and marine life, particularly towards plastics.

We name on you to encourage the transition to sustainable agricultural practices.

We name on you to implement the Paris Settlement to halt local weather change.

The way forward for all life on Earth lies within the stability. We urge you to behave now.

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