Posted on 05 April 2019
-WWF: greater awareness is vital to tackling issues as research shows only half (49%) of people in 10 countries are very convinced biodiversity -the total variety of all life on earth - is in decline-
As the long-awaited eight-part documentary series Our Planet, voiced by Sir David Attenborough, becomes available on Netflix globally today, a new survey for the conservation organisation shows that only half (49% ) of people across 10 of the world’s most biodiverse countries are very convinced biodiversity -- our ‘safety net’ or ‘web of life’ -- is in decline. Just 39% realise that we depend on nature and biodiversity for key elements of life, such as food, water and clean air.
WWF is calling on the public to stand up for the planet and is asking global leaders to address our nature emergency by working together to develop a global plan of action, a New Deal for Nature and People.
Despite the lack of widespread awareness of the crisis our planet is facing, the survey showed a majority of respondents (70%) across the 10 countries feel personally responsible for protecting nature and biodiversity. 65% say commitment from their governments to protect it is insufficient. The importance of protecting biodiversity for future generations is also considered as crucial to the majority (80%), while climate change, deforestation, and river and ocean pollution are seen as biodiversity’s biggest threats.
The figures highlight the importance of the global conversation that is being sparked by the ground breaking Our Planet Netflix series, created in collaboration with WWF and produced by Silverback Films, and aiming to reach millions of people to create a pivotal moment for nature. Thousands of people all over the world are adding their voices and calling for action via an online spinning globe demonstrating the scale of the movement worldwide. Go to www.ourplanet.com/voice/.
WWF Ambassador and naturalist Sir David Attenborough who narrates the series said: “Today we have become the greatest threat to the health of our home but there’s still time for us to address the challenges we’ve created, if we act now. If people can truly understand what is at stake, I believe they will expect business and governments to get on with the practical solutions.
And as a species we are expert problem-solvers. But we haven’t yet applied ourselves to this problem with the focus it requires. We can create a world with clean air and water, unlimited energy, and fish stocks that will sustain us well into the future.”
The Our Planet project launches at a critical time when our nature and wildlife is under threat like never before. Recent figures from WWF’s Living Planet Report 2018 show that global populations of vertebrate species have, on average, declined by 60 per cent since 1970 – less than a lifetime.
Colin Butfield, Executive Director of WWF-UK and Conservation Advisor for Our Planet, said: “ We’re the first generation to know the full impact of what we’re doing to our planet, and the last that has the chance to do anything about it. If people around the world speak out and say our planet is worth protecting, our leaders will have no choice but to listen. We hope Our Planet will spark one of the most important conversations of our time - about the one home we all share.”
Through the series and WWF Our Planet initiatives, the charity is taking the opportunity to raise awareness, educate, and shift attitudes towards conservation. An array of free online resources at OurPlanet.com have been created to help people of all ages understand the importance of Earth’s habitats and how they can help safeguard them for people and wildlife for generations to come. The website is focused around the eight biomes introduced in the series and enables visitors to take a deep dive into the most pressing challenges and solutions facing our natural world.
OurPlanet.com will also provide a wealth of educational resources for schools, youth groups and families to engage young people in the global conversation around the series. These include downloadable classroom materials and guides for educators, an ‘Our Planet Live’ platform offering live link-ups with experts for classrooms all around the world, and a ground-breaking free nature ID app called Seek, developed for Our Planet by iNaturalist, which helps budding naturalists to gain a better understanding of their local environment and global biodiversity.
Visit OurPlanet.com to view the ‘How Biodiversity Works’ film to find out more about why it’s so important to our planet.
Go to OurPlanet.com to go behind-the-scenes of the Our Planet Netflix series and find out how you can help our planet to thrive again by adding your voice calling for urgent action, make a pledge, and be part of an interactive journey exploring our astonishing planet through an explorable globe.
Follow Our Planet on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and be part of the conversation with #ShareOurPlanet:
● Our Planet Instagram: www.instagram.com/ourplanet
● Our Planet Facebook: www.facebook.com/ourplanet
● Our Planet Twitter: www.twitter.com/ourplanet
- Ends -
Notes to Editors:
1 The Living Planet Report 2018, Nov 2018
2 Online survey on biodiversity across 10 countries, 18+ year olds, fieldwork conducted 3 - 13th Mar 18. 10,328 respondents. Countries include: China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Brazil, Columbia, Peru, Mexico, South Africa and Kenya.
About the New Deal for Nature and People:
In 2020 we have the chance to put the world on the path to a better future, due to a historic coming together of key international decisions on environment, climate and sustainable development that have the potential to put our planet at the heart of our economic, political and financial systems. This is an unmissable, one-off opportunity for world leaders to take action for our planet and to move us towards a better future that benefits everyone. A New Deal for Nature and People is urgently needed with the aim of reversing the trend of nature loss by 2030 and restoring nature.
About the Netflix Our Planet series
The series launches on 5 April 2019, showcasing the extraordinary place we all call home. From the creator of Planet Earth, Silverback Films and in collaboration with WWF, the eight-part series features never-before-seen footage of wildlife and their habitats while also revealing why the natural world matters to us all and what steps must be taken to preserve it.
The ambitious four-year Our Planet project has been filmed in 50 countries across all the continents of the world, with over 600 members of crew capturing more than three and a half thousand filming days, and will focus on the breadth of the diversity of habitats around the world, from the remote Arctic wilderness and mysterious deep oceans to the vast landscapes of Africa and diverse jungles of South America.
In the first episode, “One Planet,” viewers will travel from the Brazilian rainforest to Norway’s Svalbard archipelago, discovering how each fragile habitat is connected and why they are all essential for life to thrive on this planet. Subsequent episodes capture Earth’s key biomes, or habitats: the icy frozen worlds, jungles, coastal seas, deserts and grasslands, high seas, freshwater regions and forests.
Thanks to an extensive team that includes some of the world’s best wildlife cinematographers, researchers and scientists — and the latest in 4K camera technology — each episode features several stunning sequences that have never been filmed before.
Unprecedented in scope and ambition, Our Planet will entertain and captivate a global audience of all ages. Our Planet is produced by Silverback Films, Ltd. Series producers are Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey.
The series is live on Netflix, go to Netflix.com/OurPlanet. The series promotes the shared responsibility we all have to protect the health of our home, highlighting that we may be the last generation that has the chance to address the challenges humankind has created.