Nature is our home, our food, our comfort, our culture, our health, our medicine, our safety, our recreation, and our inspiration – it is our life support system.
To care for ourselves we must care for nature.
But every day we are stretching the limit of this fabric of life.
Recent scientific and economic reports are raising alarm bells on the degradation of nature. 75 per cent of the land, 66 per cent of oceans, and 85 per cent of wetlands have been negatively altered by human activity. One million species are facing extinction, many within decades.
We are at an existential crossroads - by acting urgently, now, we can prevent biodiversity, climate, and environmental collapse.
Now, more than ever, nature needs us to pay attention to its warning signs:
In our own economic system: the UNSUSTAINABLE way we extract, produce, consume, and dispose of things, and the UNEQUAL way the benefits and damages of all these economic activities are distributed.
In our current values and principles that underpin this system, driving unlimited production, unlimited profit, and unlimited growth which is incompatible with our limited planet.
We, the youth, say ‘Enough!’ Enough of behaviour that is harmful to nature. Enough of short-term, quick-fixes that do not address our deep, systemic societal and environmental struggles.
Our generation has seen many of the promises of the Millennium Development Goals, the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, and the Kyoto Protocol fail.
We call for individuals, nations, and the international community to deliver on its environmental commitments. We need real transformative change - for humankind to realign priorities, values, behaviours, and actions. Let us reinvent our systems, equitably and sustainably.
To succeed, global agreements must protect human rights and recognize nature’s intrinsic and cultural values.
They must steadfastly uphold the rights of Indigenous peoples and local communities and protect environmental defenders.
Governments and corporations must be accountable for activities that degrade natural systems or threaten our rights to a safe and healthy environment.
Actions on sustainability must be based on the principle of intergenerational equity, encouraging justice between generations as well as within generations.
We are calling on our leaders to safeguard and prioritize our collective future.
If our generation is to have hope for a future built on peace and harmony with nature, we need your leadership now.
We want decisive actions at the start of the Decade of Action for the Sustainable Development Goals and the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.
It’s time to Act with and #ForNature.
Time to listen to science. Time to listen to the voices on the ground. Time to be accountable.
It is time for a strong, just, courageous, inclusive, and rights-based Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and road to Stockholm+50.
We must build back better.
We must put nature at the heart of decision-making.
We, young people, representing different causes, constituencies, social backgrounds, ethnicities, genders, geographies, and languages, come together.
Calling for unprecedented action.
With and #ForNature.
The views, thoughts, opinions, and policies expressed in the For Nature Manifesto and Open Letter were written by youth, and do not necessarily represent those of the United Nations, including its agencies, and supporting organizations.