Innovative Program Connects Donors and Tree-Planting Groups

In 2018, the United Nations (UN) declared 2021-2030 as the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration in an effort to reverse centuries of damage to forests, wetlands and other ecosystems. The following year, as if to dramatize the urgency, fires swept through the forests of the Brazilian Amazon, Eastern Australia and the …

What COVID-19 Means for Ecotourism

For decades, ecotourism has helped to conserve nature and protect endangered species. COVID-19 and the subsequent closure of ecotourism sites has had an indelible impact on wildlife and the communities that protect it. Johannes Refisch is a United Nations Programme Manager and Coordinator, who oversees the Great Apes Survival Partnership. …

The State of the World’s Forests: Forests, Biodiversity and People

As the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity 2011–2020 comes to a close and countries prepare to adopt a post-2020 global biodiversity framework, this edition of The State of the World’s Forests (SOFO) examines the contributions of forests, and of the people who use and manage them, to the conservation and …

International Day for Biological Diversity

Biodiversity, or biological diversity, is the multitude of living things that make up life on Earth. It encompasses the 8 million or so species on the planet—from plants and animals to fungi and bacteria—and the ecosystems that house them such as oceans, forests, mountain environments and coral reefs. But, nature …

Honey Bees Feel Sting of Viral Disease

There’s nothing new in nature. Viruses have been around for as long as plants and animals, if not longer. Most viruses are benign to humans and other animals and in fact are essential for life. Some—as humans are finding out with COVID-19—have negative consequences. Chronic bee paralysis is a well-defined …

World Migratory Bird Day

The coronavirus pandemic is reminding us that we live in a connected world. It’s an opportunity to revisit our relationship with nature and rebuild a more environmentally responsible world. In 2020, the theme of World Migratory Bird Day on 9 May is “Birds Connect Our World.” It highlights the importance …

The Delicate Relationship Between People, Wildlife and the Pathogens

In the past, coronaviruses that circulated in humans caused only mild infections. This changed in 2002, when the SARS-CoV virus presented itself in humans as the disease we now know as SARS. In 2020, SARS-CoV-2–a relative of the same virus–has presented itself in humans in the disease we now call …