Closing the Global Biodiversity Financing Gap
Foreword and Executive Summary
The world is in the midst of one of the most dramatic extinction episodes in history.
The signs of biodiversity loss are everywhere. Tropical forests, our greatest stores of biodiversity and carbon, are in retreat. Coastal wetlands, vital to migratory birds and fisheries and also a significant global stock of carbon, are deteriorating worldwide. Although extinction is a natural phenomenon, scientists estimate that our planet is now losing species at 1,000 times the natural rate of one to five per year. If we continue on the trajectory we’re on, we face a future where 30–50% of all species may be lost by the middle of the 21st century.
Climate change is exacerbating this loss, causing coral reef bleaching, rampant growth of insect disease in forests, and severe expected loss of Arctic species. And it is a vicious circle—biodiversity loss also aggravates climate change. In the Amazon, hydrological changes caused by deforestation may permanently dry out millions of acres of rainforest and alter the entire Amazon climate. The resulting economic cost will be staggering.