Stop WWF's New Deal for Nature
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 now being marketed and exploited in order to reboot the global economy.
Behind the push for a New Deal for Nature—recently rebranded Nature Positive, and also referred to as a Global Deal for Nature or a Global Goal for Nature—lie the world’s most powerful corporations, financial institutions, behavioural change organisations such as Avaaz, and conservation NGOs who partner with the world's largest polluters. Human rights violators WWF lead the charge for this deal, which essentially consists of a land grab from the most self-sufficient peoples on the planet, principally in Africa and Asia.
Also behind the global push to "protect and restore nature" 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 help secure a social licence for what would be the world's biggest land grab from thousands of self-sufficient rural communities in the Global South. These proposals are currently marketed under the #NaturePositive, #ForNature and #NatureNow branding.
Decisions to hand greater control to the conservation industry and its corporate partners are 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, and is now to take place in Kunming, China in May 2022.
Specifically threatened are Indigenous and tribal peoples—who see "nature" as their home and are best placed to protect biodiversity—as well as other rural peoples such as pastoralists, via the creation of what are called "Protected Areas". In Africa and Asia, these areas are controlled by military force to keep local people out, resulting in widespread human rights violations and displacement. The conservation industry would now like to the current number of Protected Areas on land and sea increased to 30% by 2030 (30x30). Leading the push at international level encouraging governments to adopt the 30x30 goal is also the High Ambition Coalition, which is headed up by the UK, Costa Rica and France.
What is foreseen by those behind the New Deal for Nature, recently rebranded Nature Positive, includes the creation of new markets worth some $10 trillion of global GDP growth, thereby expanding an economic system whose activities have been the main driver of biodiversity loss.
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 the living world, 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 push for a New Deal for Nature—recently rebranded Nature Positive, and also referred to as a Global Deal for Nature or a Global Goal for Nature—lie the world’s most powerful corporations, financial institutions, behavioural change organisations such as Avaaz, and conservation NGOs who partner with the world's largest polluters. Human rights violators WWF lead the charge for this deal, which entails a historic land grab from the most self-sufficient peoples on the planet.
2. Harms those least responsible for destroying 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 doubling of Protected Areas (30x30) to maintain and expand their hegemony under the guise of tackling climate change and protecting "nature". This represents a new wave of colonisation for peoples in the Global South, specifically in parts of Africa and Asia where colonial or fortress conservation is still the norm.
3. Expands the very system destroying biodiversity
The New Deal for Nature, also marketed as Nature Positive, would entail creating new markets worth some $10 trillion of global GDP growth, thereby expanding an economic system whose activities have been the main driver of biodiversity loss.
4. Fails to address the main drivers of biodiversity loss
Under the guise of acting on the climate and ecological crises, what the New Deal for Nature also entails is a new phase of financialisation and privatisation of nature (defined as "nature-based solutions" or "natural climate solutions", "natural capital" or "ecosystem services"). Yet these market-based solutions fail to address the main drivers of biodiversity loss, namely overconsumption by the Global North and an economic system based on the exploitation of people and planet that seeks to create new markets for consumer goods, destroying self-sufficiency in the process.
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 (postponed to October 2021, now further postponed to May 2022)—without any vote by our local, regional or national parliaments, bypassing full democratic scrutiny.
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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
David Booth, writer and teacher, US
Dr Andrea Brock, University of Sussex, UK
Ann Carton, writer, UK
Wayne Copeland, campaigner, Canada
Stephen Corry, (now former) Director of 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, 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
Noor Ibrahim, Kenya
Victor G.L. Jasin, Canada
Marcy Johnson, US
Prachi Kudale, campaigner, India
Dr Timothy Krantz, Professor of Environmental Science, University of Redlands, US
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
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.