It requires that we:
- Preserve natural capital:
Restore damaged ecosystems, halt the loss of priority habitats, significantly expand protected areas.
- Produce better:
Reduce inputs and waste, manage resources sustainably, scale-up renewable energy production.
- Consume more wisely:
Through low-footprint lifestyles, sustainable energy use and healthier food consumption patterns.
- Redirect financial flows:
Value nature, account for environmental and social costs, support and reward conservation, sustainable resource management and innovation.
- Equitable resource governance:
Share available resources, make fair and ecologically informed choices, measure success beyond GDP.
While the global trends leave us in no doubt about the scale of the challenges that we face, there is room for hope. Numerous examples from all around the world demonstrate the One Planet Perspective in practice – with significant environmental, social and economic benefits. Below are just a few.
Great Barrier Reef: land, rivers and sea
Investing in water stewardship boosts agriculture, fishing and tourism, and helps to conserve one of the world’s iconic environmental assets.
"If stuff that runs off our farm is affecting the reef, we need to do what we can to reduce it. And that’s the idea of this, to get proactive and show what can be done. Hopefully that will lead to change within the industry. "
Gerry Deguara, sugarcane farmer, Queensland, Australia
Chile: protection, production and people
A model for marine conservation integrates blue whales, salmon production and social equity.
"We are privileged to live in this environment, an in absolute harmony between the marine ecosystems and our indigenous world view. Our ocean, land and air are sacred spaces and provide everything for our survival. "
Sandra Antipani, indigenous leader from Chiloé island, southern Chile
Mountain gorillas: conservation, communities and conservation
Mountain gorilla populations are increasing, and the people who live alongside them are benefiting.
"Before there was no connection between the park and local communities. Now it is totally different. They understand that the park is important for them because they are benefitting directly from the money we are getting from tourism. They respect the gorillas. "
Patience Dusabimana, community leader and guide, Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
Belize: valuing natural capital
Belize’s new coastal development plan takes full account of the huge value of natural ecosystems.
"The coastal zone of Belize is undeniably one of the country's greatest assets. It is treasured by the Belizean people for its economic and socio-cultural values, and wide range of ecosystem benefits."
Chantelle Clark-Samuels, Director, Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute, Belize
South Africa: plantations and wetlands
Smart land-use planning has restored a vital wetland and laid the foundation for successful partnerships.
"Forestry is a big part of our livelihood and it is important we have a good relationship with the plantation company. The community graze their cattle in the plantations, collect firewood and honey, and many are forestry workers and contractors. "
Induna Alson Mpangela, smallholder, Mankwathini, KwaZulu Natal
Denmark: winds of change
Denmark has been producing electricity from wind since the 19th century and continues to be a wind power world leader.
"On a windy day, my wife said, 'If you want to try to connect your wind turbine to the grid, now is the time!' Everything went fine and the electric meter started to run backwards. "
Christian Riisager, Danish wind power pioneer (1930-2008)
We love cities
A growing number of cities are demonstrating their willingness to lead in the transition to a sustainable future.
"The Earth Hour City Challenge allowed us to learn from other cities, pushing us to think more creatively. With the help of our residents, the business community and civic organisations, our city will continue to find low footprint solutions that improve quality of life and build a thriving, dynamic economy. "
Councillor Garreth Bloor, Mayoral Committee Member, City of Cape Town
Making markets work for forests
WWF and IKEA push for more sustainable forest and timber regulations in major producing and manufacturing countries.
" Our partnership aims to make a difference in some of the world’s most important forests. We work closely with different stakeholders. This is not always easy, but in our experience it is the best way to contribute long term to biodiversity and people’s livelihoods."
Anders Hildeman, IKEA Global Forestry Manager
Borneo: building a green (and gold) economy
A honey farmer association manages a forest area of over 70,000 hectares and the business now generates more than US$850,000 per harvesting season.
"Collecting honey is part of our cultural heritage. It’s a tradition. With WWF’s help, we have made this activity more profitable and more sustainable. "
Ronnie Mulyadi, member of the Buku Tamu honey producers’ association
China: better stoves save pandas
Energy efficient stoves conserve panda habitat and mitigate climate change.
"By helping build energy efficient stoves, the relationship between local people and us is getting better. It is very helpful for our protection work in the giant panda nature reserve. "
Zhang Mianyue, Mamize Nature Reserve Officer, Sichuan Province, China
Hong Kong: changing attitudes in the “city of consumption”
Hong Kong is one of the Asia’s most affluent cities, with almost limitless access to natural resources.
"My daily habits have been changed. I think more carefully when I shop and make sure I only buy what I really need."
Earth Hour participant, Hong Kong
China: constructed wetlands
A boom in rural tourism is overwhelming water treatment infrastructure. Constructed wetlands can be a natural solution.
"It is really amazing to see the improvement after the wetland is constructed with beautiful flowers and plants on. You can never imagine that fish swim in the pond full of purified wastewater, which used to be so black and bad smelling!"
Wu Shibin, village leader of Yuanshan, Guanyuan City, Sichuan Province