Nature’s Lifeline for the Health of All Communities
What is Justly Biodiverse?
• Clean air & water for all, not some
• Protection from climate change
• Wild spaces for all to enjoy
• Biodiversity’s benefits available to all
• Sustainability that ensures prosperity for future generations
• Collaboration with Indigenous communities
COVID-19, Ebola, SARS, and other zoonotic diseases make it clear that when we endanger biodiversity, we endanger ourselves. These zoonotic diseases are increasing because of our unsustainable relationship with biodiversity.
Biodiversity is our life-support system. Access to biodiversity’s benefits is a human rights issue. And communities of color and low-income communities suffer disproportionately due to biodiversity loss, sometimes in a targeted manner. Yet the mainstream environmental movement often does not articulate how environmental racism drives unequal access to biodiversity’s benefits. This report attempts to offer a fuller view.
The report makes the case that systemic, environmental racism in policy decisions had led to the denuding of biodiversity in targeted ways. So, while the loss of imperiled species and habitats impacts all of us, it particularly hurts, low-income communities and communities of color, first and worst. The report also provides a small sampling of the communities of color who are at the forefront of biodiversity protection—to also show a more holistic view of what biodiversity protection looks like.
Finally, it details 12 benefits of our natural planet, gives examples of some of the imperiled species and habitats that play heightened roles in supporting each benefit, and provides policy recommendations. We hope that readers will enter into this conversation with us. Help us to learn, identify, and find other linkages.