Stop WWF's New Deal For Nature
The corporate coup of the commons
Why this campaign?
Our natural world is facing the most serious threats she has ever known.
At the forefront is the accelerating loss of biodiversity, upon which all life depends.
Worse still, this very real threat is being marketed and exploited in order to reboot the global economy.
Behind the call for a New Deal For Nature, also referred to as a Global Deal For Nature or a Global Goal For Nature, lie the world’s most powerful corporations, financial institutions, and conservation NGOs, with human rights violators WWF leading the charge.
Also behind the global push to financialise biodiversity is the World Economic Forum, which entered into partnership with the United Nations on June 13, 2019.
The World Economic Forum and the WWF have chosen three leading influencers—Greta Thunberg, Jane Goodall and David Attenborough—to sell this corporate coup of the commons, which entails a historic landgrab from thousands of self-sufficient rural communities in the Global South. These proposals are currently being marketed under the #NaturePositive, #ForNature and #NatureNow branding.
Decisions to hand greater control to the conservation industry and its corporate partners are expected to be finalised as part of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 15) conference. This event was originally foreseen to be held in China in October 2020, but was postponed to May 2021, then further postponed to October 2021, and is now expected to face yet another delay.
Under the guise of acting on the biodiversity and climate crises, the proposed deal amounts to the privatisation, commodification and objectification of the natural world, marketed with emotive imagery and holistic framing.
Specifically threatened are Indigenous and tribal peoples—who see "nature" as their home and are best placed to protect biodiversity—via the creation of what are called "Protected Areas". In Africa and Asia, these areas are often controlled by force to keep local people out, resulting in human rights violations and the displacement of local communities. The UN and the conservation industry have proposed increasing the number of Protected Areas to 30%.
What is foreseen would involve the total transformation of the global economic system for the creation of new markets worth some $10 trillion of global GDP growth, thereby salvaging the failing capitalist system that is destroying our shared futures and all life on Earth.
Former CEO of The Nature Conservancy Mark Tercek describes the intent best: "This reminds me of my Wall Street days. I mean, all the new markets, the high yield markets, this is how they all start."
This deal must be stopped. We call on all those who care about nature, particularly about Indigenous and tribal peoples, those who stand to lose the most, to speak out.
We urge you to hold public meetings, disseminate information, form local campaign groups, hold protests, and to take whatever action is necessary to halt this monstrous and unprecedented assault on our living world by the capitalist system.
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Five reasons to say "no" to
WWF's New Deal For Nature
1. Conceived of by vested interests
Behind the call for the New Deal For Nature, also referred to as the Global Deal For Nature or a Global Goal For Nature, lie the world’s most powerful corporations, financial institutions, and conservation NGOs, with human rights violators WWF leading the charge.
The New Deal For Nature is being negotiated without any participation from the wider public. It was originally foreseen to be concluded as part of the Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 15) conference held in China in October 2020 (now postponed to October 2021)—without any vote by our local, regional or national parliaments, bypassing full democratic scrutiny.
3. Represents the corporate coup of the commons
During negotiations on free trade agreements such as TTIP and CETA, we saw how our governments work hand-in-hand with multinational corporations to grant even greater power to big business, privatising more public services. Now nature is up for grabs.
Under the guise of acting on the climate and ecological crises, what the New Deal For Nature entails, in practice, is the financialisation and privatisation of nature (defined as "ecosystem services", "natural capital", "natural climate solutions" or "nature-based solutions")—global in scale. Assigning monetary value to nature enables industries such as the fossil fuel industry to continue polluting as long as they commit to engaging in net zero activities such as offsetting carbon emissions by planting trees, or by "restoring" nature.
4. Rescues the very system destroying biodiversity
The New Deal For Nature would involve the total transformation of the global economic system to create new markets worth some $10 trillion of global GDP growth, thereby salvaging the failing economic capitalist system that has brought us to the brink of ecological catastrophe.
5. Harms those best placed to protect biodiversity
The New Deal For Nature would threaten the further displacement of Indigenous and tribal peoples as global corporations and the conservation industry seek control of their lands via the creation of more Protected Areas to maintain and expand hegemony under the guise of tackling climate change and protecting nature. This represents a new wave of colonisation for peoples in the Global South, in parts of Africa and Asia in particular.
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Some of our campaign signatories to date include:
Peter Allen, illustrator, UK
Marianne Birkby, artist and founder of Radiation Free Lakeland, UK
Alison Blunt, UK
David Booth, writer and teacher, US
Dr Andrea Brock, University of Sussex, UK
Ann Carton, writer, UK
Wayne Copeland, campaigner, Canada
Stephen Corry, Director, Survival International, UK
Carlo Cruciani, former librarian and independent researcher at Criveo (Centro Ricerche Verità Occultate), Ascoli Piceno, Italy
Gregory Crocetti, campaigner, Australia
Paul Cudenec, campaigner and author, France
Nikki Darrell, The Plant Medicine School, Ireland
Brian Davey, Social Ecological Economist, UK
Luke Dodson, campaigner, UK
Dr Alexander Dunlap, post doctoral researcher, University of Oslo, Norway
Alex Duffy, The Plant Medicine School, Ireland
Dr Anwesha Dutta, post doctoral researcher, Chr. Michelsen Institute, Bergen, Norway
Angela Elder, UK
Prof. Jelel Ezzine, Tunis, Tunisia
Patrick Farnsworth, campaigner and host of Last Born in the Wilderness, US
Trace Fleeman y Garcia, Oregon Institute for Creative Research, International Ecolinguistics Association, US
Dr David Foster, University of Reading, UK
Dr Achiba Gargule, Kenya
Dr Karen Goaman, independent anthropologist and campaigner, UK
Charlotte Golding, tree hugger and nature lover, UK
Vesna Grgic, co-ordinator, Zeleni odred/Green Squad, Croatia
Hiroyuki Hamada, artist, US
Jimmy Han, US
Keith Harmon Snow, photojournalist and war correspondent, US
Melissa Hoffman, campaigner, US
Jessica Holmes, climate educator, US
Wendy Howard, ecologist, educator, ecosystem repairer, Quinta do Vale - Permaculturing in Portugal, Portugal
Victor G.L. Jasin, Canada
Marcy Johnson, US
Prachi Kudale, campaigner, India
Dr Timothy Krantz, Professor of Environmental Science, University of Redlands, US
Chris Lang, REDD-Monitor
Lukas Leitinger, MA student at UPF Barcelona, Spain
John Lennon, director of Let's build a better Jamaica, Jamaica
Prof. dr. ir. Frédéric Leroy, VUB, Belgium (signing in an independent capacity)
Claudine Letsae, International Coordinator, Green Party of England and Wales, UK
Jacob Levich, university administrator and researcher, New York City, US
David Lewane, campaigner, US
Sumner Macpherson, campaigner, US
Paul Melzer, campaigner, US
Jordan Michel-Muniz, social activist, Brazil
Dr Jonathan Molad, philosopher, Melbourne, Australia
Cory Morningstar, writer and researcher at Wrong Kind of Green, Canada
Rob Nellist, UK
Rael Nidess, M.D., US
Branko Obradovic, campaigner, Croatia
Forrest Palmer, writer and researcher at Wrong Kind of Green, US
Geraldine Ring, campaigner, Ireland
Yzabelaah Samahra Rose, editor of AEVA magazine, UK
Emma Sansom, UK
Vijay Sekhon, campaigner, Mumbai, India
Noga Shanee, PhD, Reclaim Conservation, UK
Wendy Sharpe, UK
Christopher Shaw, Visiting Faculty member of the School of Business, Management and Economics, University of Sussex, UK
Arindam Singh, student, New Delhi, India
South Essex Radical Media, UK
Dr Clive Spash, Chair of Public Policy and Governance, Institute for Multi-Level Governance & Development, Department of Socio-Economics, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria
Daniela Subtil F., climate and social justice activist, Munich, Germany
Don Sullivan, former N. American Co-ordinator for the Taiga Rescue Network, Canada
Paul Swann, campaigner, UK
Michael Swifte, researcher and writer at Wrong Kind of Green, Australia
Marc Thibault, Indigenous Ally and Regenerative Thinker, Ohlone Territory, US
Peter Underwood, writer and researcher, UK
Inês Valdez, US
Dr Gert van Hecken, Assistant professor at University of Antwerp, Belgium
Myrah Vandermeulen, student at Ghent University, Belgium
Gregory Vickrey, teacher and researcher, Wrong Kind of Green associate, US
Mathias Weiss, PhD student, Faculty of Sociology, University of Innsbruck, Austria
Natalie Westwood, Daoist medical practitioner, Australia
Winter Oak Press
Ira Zillich, campaigner, Scotland
Much gratitude to Mario Sánchez Nevado of Aégis Strife for granting us permission to use his Betrayal illustration for our campaign. This illustration depicts how corporate interests seek to annihilate the natural world, of which we are all part.