Natural capital as a cornerstone of development. | WWF

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Natural capital as a cornerstone of development.

54.4°C is the temperature recorded at Furnace Creek, which is being validated by the IOM as a world record not recorded since the 1930s. In the same vein, many scientists are already anticipating that 2020 will be among the warmest years in recent decades, second only to the peak in 2016 if we look at the trend over the past seven months.

These are records not to be bragged about. The wildfires that are ravaging California right now, which have already destroyed 1.3 million hectares, are attributed to persistent drought, although some also say it's a question of poor forest management. Whatever one may think, man is the cause of these disasters.

And these are only illustrations of the degradation and destruction of our planet. Indeed, the Living Planet Report, which assesses the state of health of nature in the world, has just released a new record figure....68%. This is the average reduction in abundance of 21,000 populations of 4,000 species of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians observed between 1970 and 2016 on the five continents. The most affected species are those of wetlands i.e. amphibians, fish and freshwater reptiles with a reduction of 84%.  The South American continent saw the greatest decline with a 94% drop in the populations of the species studied if Africa, including Madagascar saw a 65% decline.

Why all these numbers? Even if it bothers, let's say it, it's a statement of failure.

In 2010, through the Convention on Biological Diversity, the 193 countries of this convention established a 10-year strategic plan (2010-2020) to safeguard biological diversity and the benefits it provides to the world's people. The figures in the report show that the desired impacts have not been achieved with the 20 targets (called the Aichi targets, the city in Japan where they were adopted) stipulated by this plan.

A radical change is needed for the post-2020 biodiversity framework, and this will have to start from the commitment of each country. The Paris Agreements (2015) set an example: set an ambitious science-based target and ask each country to define their contribution (Nationally Determined Planned Contribution - NDPC) with a mandatory rigorous monitoring system and clear financial targets to implement it. This is the central element of the "New Deal for Nature and People" where the aim is to have a Zero Net Loss of Nature from 2020, a net positive balance sheet by 2030 and a full recovery by 2050.

For Madagascar, we are already starting on a good basis: Greening Madagascar. If planting 40,000 hectares per year is a noble objective, we will also have to invest in securing and perpetuating our protected areas, make natural capital the cornerstone of Madagascar's development, put an immediate end to the trafficking of natural resources through law enforcement, urgently implement the wood energy supply strategy and manage coastal and marine resources sustainably and equitably.  

We believe that there is no emergence without the urgency to preserve and restore Madagascar's unique nature. We must give ourselves the means to do so. This is our New Deal!
Tiana Ramahaleo, Conservation Director - WWF Madagascar