World Leaders: Please focus on biodiversity and natural and healthy ecosystems

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This urgent appeal goes out to all global leaders, the United Nations, the World Bank, conservationists, scientists, wildlife NGOs and foundations, big business, carbon credit organizations and international aid agencies regarding the many International Conference on Climate Change to be held throughout 2020.
 
We are asking you to please steer the agenda at this year's conferences toward offering incentives and funding to 1) ensure protection and connection of all natural ecosystems and wildlife to maintain biodiversity and healthy ecosystems, and 2) develop renewable energy solutions and biodegradable alternatives to plastic to minimize environmental damage.
 
A united effort is required to highlight, support, and fund effective solutions to reverse climate change. Actions needed include support for natural regeneration and increased protection of forests, wetlands, and coral reefs; and restoration, expansion, protection, and connection of natural ecosystems along with all associated native wildlife and plant species.
 
Research has shown that millions of species face extinction if urgent action is not taken. Loss of biodiversity is as grave as climate breakdown. Both are connected and must be addressed together. Balanced, functioning ecosystems offer a cost-effective defense against global warming and will be essential to mitigate climate change. The trend toward extinction of millions of species must be reversed to save natural ecosystems—all life on Earth depends on this.
 
All farming, trade, and trophy hunting of endangered or threatened species should end immediately. Demand for body parts of endangered species must be eliminated rather than encouraged by legal trade. Consumptive use of wildlife should not be encouraged while wildlife populations are declining as rapidly as human populations are increasing.
 
Failed hunting concessions surrounding national parks and reserves should be converted to protective community conservancies with various eco-ventures. Safe wildlife migration corridors must be set aside to allow natural dispersal of wildlife between protected areas. These efforts must include local communities who will benefit from income from tourism and eco-ventures while helping to protect wildlife.
 
Droughts and floods induced by climate change will force people whose crops fail to turn to exploitation of natural resources. This must be prevented—urgently—by offering support and initial funding to set up alternative eco-ventures like production of eco-friendly products, and by supporting agroforestry and regenerative farming methods to ensure steady incomes and food security.
 
More affordable secondary schools in rural areas should be built to enable disadvantaged children to complete their schooling and go on to attend college or university. Fifty percent intake should be reserved for girls who could then get jobs rather than be married at a young age.
 
Governments, all wildlife NGOs and foundations, big business, high-end safari operators, carbon credit schemes, international agencies, charities, and philanthropists must come together now to offer support and funding to make a mission that seems hopeless transform into something full of hope, possibility, and renewal.

Photocredit: Aol