Planetary Times #2: Scientists urgently call for a new global goal: “Nature Positive”

Before Article

Planetary TimesWe are back with a brand-new edition of the Planetary Times, your favorite newsletter. This 2nd edition is about the interconnectedness of nature, why it is so important to put nature first, and why bees matter.

A new goal: Nature Positive

While we are setting ambitious targets to reach Net Zero in 2050, no equivalent goal exists for nature or biodiversity. This must change since nature is dramatically losing ground every year (the timelapse of the Brazilian Amazon already shows enough). That is why, in a recently published paper by Locke et al. (2021), several scientists urgently call for a new goal: “Nature Positive”. As can be seen in the picture below, the goal would have three measurable temporal objectives: Zero Net Loss of Nature from 2020, Net Positive by 2030, and Full Recovery by 2050.

Image by Locke et al. (2021)

 The goal Nature Positive should be integrated with the other climate and development goals, as we know that none of the goals are achievable without the others. Many synergies exist between them. For instance, the more nature is restored, the more carbon emissions are captured, water cycles are restored, pollution is tackled, and many more beneficial effects. This also shows the interconnectedness between each of the planetary boundaries and social systems as well. We simply live in highly connected social and ecological systems.

Tall treeThe Queen of Trees

A great documentary that shows the interconnectedness of nature is “The Queen of Trees”. This remarkable story is about the ancient fig tree in Africa and its connection with other animals and creatures. The fig tree and fig wasp differ in size a billion times over, but neither could exist without the other. Their extraordinary relationship is a result of co-evolution. Together they form the basis of a complex web of other animals from ants to elephants. All of nature is interconnected: the web of life.
This beautiful documentary will let you dive into the beauty of nature and the interconnected world of ecosystems. Hopefully, this will inspire you to put nature first and strive towards Nature Positive and Full Recovery in 2050.

BeeWorld Bee Day

On 20th of may it was World Bee Day. As we know by now, the bee’s population is in great danger, which in turn forms a big threat to human development. Bees provide essential ecosystem services since they are responsible for pollination, which is vital to life on our planet. In fact, close to 75 percent of the world’s crops producing fruits and seeds for human consumption depend on pollinators for production, yield and quality. The European Commission just released a summary of the EU-wide Ecosystem Assessment report, with ten key messages on the current state of Europe’s ecosystems and the way forward. Read more here.

What can you do today?

You can easily have a positive impact on the bee’s population. For instance, these 4 things you can do today to help the bee population:

  1. Plant flowers and make space for nature;
  2. Eat and buy organic food;
  3. Stop using any pesticides or herbicides;
  4. Place a bee hotel

Especially cities play an important role for the bee population since fewer pesticides exist in the built environment. However, there is still much to gain. Buildings are now mostly concrete and do not provide any habitat for bees. This can be changed: rooftops, walls, and streets can all turn into green oases. Read more about green cities here.

The city of the future is a green city where trees, ponds and parks are the lungs of the boroughs and biodiversity can find its way in.


– Wageningen University

Get in touch

This article is written by Boas Kraaijeveld, a consultant at CFP Green Buildings. Boas holds a Master Global Business & Sustainability at the Rotterdam School of Management. For his graduation thesis, he investigated how business model innovations can enhance the planetary boundaries. Since then, he actively follows the (scientific) news and shares this knowledge with the rest of the world.

Get in touch with Boas if you have suggestions or feedback on this article.

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