The following statement was issued today by Monica Medina, President and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society, from the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact:

“Leaders from governments, banks, and civil society are gathered in Paris to think big about a new paradigm that invests in sustainable development and in conservation to provide solutions to the biodiversity and climate crises. If we conserve nature, we can solve both.

“Nature is more than just biodiversity, it includes clean air, lands and waters, healthy oceans, and intact forests and wild areas that provide nature-based climate solutions and provide a range of benefits to people. This year must be the year in which we bring together the international conventions and agreements, including those being negotiated, on climate change, on biodiversity, on oceans, on plastic pollution, and on pandemics and health, and unite them around a true commitment to conserving nature.

“I believe the world is finally waking up to the fact that our industries, economies, livelihoods, health, well-being and even our lives depend on nature being strong. So let us build on this to move from recognition to commitment to action.

“As I move from my role in government to civil society, I am more convinced than ever that we need a Bretton Woods for Nature. A moment that will help galvanize and unify global actions on nature, not just from within one sector, but across all of our financial, industrial, climate, health and education systems. We now know that such actions will not only make all of these sectors individually more successful but will make them more than the sum of their parts. 

“In Montreal last year at the UN Biodiversity Conference, the concept of ecological integrity was adopted and is now embedded in the Kunming-Montreal Biodiversity Framework. It is indeed a unifying concept for the overall health of nature, and indeed the very well-being of humanity. And yet, we continue to belittle, destroy, degrade, and devalue nature, and both its intrinsic and extrinsic values. 

“If history is to forgive us for how long it has taken us to wake up to the existential crises we have created, from biodiversity collapse, to climate change, to pandemics, we must now take bold historic action, and unite behind the true protection, restoration, and measurement of the integrity of forests and other ecosystems: of ecological integrity.

“This Summit for a New Global Financing Pact and the leadership shown by the countries gathered here today in Paris, could be the architects of a Bretton Woods for Nature. Then, and only then, might history judge that we finally moved from recognition, to commitment, to action.”