Tim has worked closely with FFI since 1999. He has edited &FFI (formerly Fauna & Flora magazine) since its inception in 2001 and is the author of With Honourable Intent - A Natural History of Fauna & Flora International, published in 2017.
The headlines speak for themselves. The pictures paint a thousand words. Our planet is in flames. Lives and livelihoods are being destroyed. Our cities are under water. The biodiversity and ecosystems that are central to human survival are being incinerated before our eyes. This is our last chance to put out the fire.
The message in the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is unequivocal: there is no longer any doubt – if there ever was – about the scale of the climate crisis, about humankind’s role in driving climate change and exacerbating extreme weather events, about how much we have changed the planet. And we can say with absolute certainty that things will continue to get worse unless urgent changes are made.
To stand even the remotest chance of meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement (which aims to limit warming to 1.5oC above pre-industrial levels), we need action to halve emissions by the end of this decade. This report is a timely reminder to the world’s leaders, captains of industry, investors and consumers that a radical shift in policy is needed right here, right now.
Crucially, we need to protect and restore nature. Our old-growth forests, our ocean, our peatlands, our mangroves and our seagrass beds are our greatest allies in the epic struggle to avert climate chaos. Fauna & Flora International (FFI) has been banging this drum for longer than we care to remember. Last year, we launched the Our One Home campaign, calling for the protection and restoration of nature to be made a global priority and for an exponential increase in investment in locally led conservation initiatives.
Our Five Breakthroughs for Nature echo and expand upon those same themes, emphasising the urgent need to transform our relationship to the natural world on which we ultimately all depend. In a nutshell, here is the handful of headline actions that we are advocating:
This five-act structure is what we think it will take to avert catastrophe in the real-life drama that is unfolding all around us. But at the risk of sounding like a stuck record, the window of opportunity for addressing this global crisis and averting the worst impacts of climate and biodiversity meltdown is rapidly narrowing.
Every fraction of a degree of warming makes our planet more unsafe. The IPCC report warns that until the world has reached net-zero greenhouse gases the planet will continue to heat up, with dangerous and irreversible impacts locked in for millennia. But the report’s findings also remind us that every action taken to limit emissions and warming brings us closer to a safer future.
There is much left to fight for and, with the very future of our one home at stake, there has never before been as much climate ambition as there is today. But that ambition needs to be articulated in action, not words, starting now. If not now, then when?
Climate change is recognised as one of the biggest threats to our natural world and its biodiversity, as well as to global security, human health and well-being.
Climate change is one of the biggest threats facing our planet and all life on it. Find out how we are working to ensure that critical species and habitats survive, no matter what the future may hold.