Nature is in decline. The human population has surpassed 8 billion people and consumption is soaring as natural capital is converted to economic capital. This is causing a bottleneck, a prolonged period of peak environmental impact, that is damaging the natural bases of life on Earth and resulting in three interrelated, mutually reinforcing, and compounding crises:
The collapse of biodiversity
The persistent threat of zoonotic pandemics
It is nature that sits at the heart, both in the degradation of nature which has led to these crises, and it is nature which also provides the foundation to solve them.
Identifying Nature's Strongholds
WCS's global conservation approach is strategically designed around landscapes and seascapes across the world where nature is strong: that is, where ecological integrity is high. Ecological Integrity captures structure, composition, and function and it is these values that make nature robust and resilient.
It is through identifying areas with high ecological integrity that we not only capture most of the areas of biodiversity, but those systems themselves are more resilient in the face of climate change and, if protected, will simply prevent the next zoonotic outbreak.