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UNEP-WCMC celebrates a successful year as it seeks to turn the tide on global loss of nature

17 October 2019
Dmitry Dreyer G Hho4 Fe4 Ga0 Unsplash


UNEP-WCMC have published their 2018-19 Annual Review, marking a year of impact helping to confront the emergency of global biodiversity loss.

When the organisation was founded in 1979, its mission was to collect and quality-assess lists of species. Fast-forward 40 years and UNEP-WCMC now works on a range of inspiring initiatives across the world, helping to put nature at the heart of decision-making in the public and private sectors.

The Review highlights a number of innovative areas of our work, including: joining forces with partners across the Mediterranean to restore marine and coastal environments; providing vital advice and scientific knowledge to international environmental agreements; and developing a new tool ENCORE to help finance and other sectors better understand and visualise their dependencies on nature.

This year’s publication also shines a light on some of the people behind this work, profiling a few of UNEP-WCMC’s over 130-strong team from 20 countries around the world. Altogether, in 2018 the team worked on 206 projects, engaging with 200 partners and funders in nearly 60 countries.

Neville Ash, Director of UNEP-WCMC, said: “These next few years will be critical for our natural world – the basis for society and the economy. The recent UN assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem services, the most comprehensive ever completed, showed how the natural foundations on which we stand are crumbling faster than ever before. As with the climate emergency, the next decade will be critical in creating the transformational changes needed to address the causes of biodiversity loss and place us once again on a steady footing.”

“We are truly encouraged by the impacts we are having with an expanding range of partners as we move into our 40th anniversary year. More and more we see businesses, governments and civil society recognising the critical importance of nature to their own sustainability, and taking this on board in their decisions. We are honoured to be able to work with them to help drive this vital change.”

Jonathan Hughes, CEO of WCMC, commented: “In 2020 the world will come together to shape a global plan for nature. If we want to make sure this plan is actionable, measurable, and achievable, we must work across all scales and all sectors - for if we’ve learnt anything from UNEP-WCMC’s 40-year history, it’s that we cannot succeed in a silo.

“The actions that we as a global community take in the next few years will have profound implications for the generations to come. We look forward to further strengthening our partnerships well beyond the environmental sector, and to bringing our unique insights, knowledge and experience to the table as we endeavour to create a world where humanity lives in harmony with nature.”

You can read our Annual Review here.