Statement from Conservation International CEO on World Economic Forum’s 2021 Global Risk Report

January 19, 2021

Arlington, Va. (January 19, 2021) – Today Conservation International CEO Dr. M. Sanjayan issued the following statement on the World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report:

“The results of the World Economic Forum’s annual Global Risk Report prove that leaders increasingly recognize that our health is inextricably linked to the health of the natural world. After a year when we all experienced the consequences of neglecting that relationship, it’s clear that the best way to minimize global risk is by investing in our commitment to nature.

“The COVID-19 pandemic — caused by a disease that jumped from wildlife to people — has cost the world trillions of dollars and over two million lives. Recent research has shown that proactive investments in nature could have prevented the worst of it, potentially saving millions from personal suffering and economic hardship.

“The global community cannot afford to be similarly unprepared in the face of another crisis. And as this report makes clear, we all know that the biggest crisis we face is climate change. 

“The climate crisis is already up on us. We see its impact all around us — rising temperatures, unprecedented hurricane seasons, historically intense fires and floods. Just like COVID-19, climate change has the potential to devastate economies, communities and families in every corner of the globe. But unlike COVID-19, it’s not too late to stop it.

“For the sake of our economies, our businesses, and our loved ones, we must take immediate action to minimize the current and future risks of climate change. We must reduce carbon emissions by ending our use of fossil fuels. And we must invest in nature-based solutions, like the protection and improved management of forests.

“The toughest challenges we face are interconnected. So are their solutions. Governments, NGOs and corporate leaders all have a role to play in creating a healthier relationship with nature.”

About Conservation International

Conservation International works to protect the critical benefits that nature provides to people. Through science, partnerships and fieldwork, Conservation International is driving innovation and investments in nature-based solutions to the climate crisis, supporting protections for critical habitats, and fostering economic development that is grounded in the conservation of nature. Conservation International works in 30 countries around the world, empowering societies at all levels to create a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable planet. Follow Conservation International's work on Conservation News, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.