Look out: Nature Risks on the Rise
Nature loss is a planetary emergency. Humanity has already wiped out 83% of wild mammals and half of all plants and severely altered three-quarters of ice-free land and two-thirds of marine environments. One million species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades – a rate tens to hundreds of times higher than the average over the past 10 million years.
The World Economic Forum’s 2020 Global Risks Report ranks biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse as one of the top five threats humanity will face in the next ten years. Human societies and economies rely on biodiversity in fundamental ways. Our research shows that $44 trillion of economic value generation – over half the world’s total GDP – is moderately or highly dependent on nature and its services. Nature loss matters for most businesses – through impacts on operations, supply chains, and markets.
We have the power to change this. Humanity urgently needs to rethink its relationship with nature, in order to halt and reverse the alarming degradation of the natural world. Business leaders have a crucial role to play, by putting nature at the core of their processes and decision-making and systematically identifying, assessing, mitigating and disclosing nature-related risks to avoid severe consequences. Businesses can be part of the global movement to protect and restore nature.
Despite an increasing focus on nature loss, there is still a limited understanding of why it matters to businesses and what the private sector can practically do about it. The World Economic Forum is launching a series of New Nature Economy (NNE) reports in 2020, making the business and economic case for safeguarding nature. The series aims to catalyse public-private momentum in 2020, with a focus on the UN Convention on Biological Diversity’s milestone summit (COP15) in Kunming, China, and the related Business for Naturemobilization.
Nature Risk Rising, produced in collaboration with PwC and the first report in the NNE series, explains how nature-related risks matter to business, why they must be urgently mainstreamed into risk management strategies and why it is vital to prioritize the protection of nature’s assets and services within the broader global economic growth agenda.