withNature2020 was conceived in the Autumn of 2018, as a response to the extinction crisis.  It is being developed in collaboration with a global network of volunteers – both individuals and established organisations.  Humans now dominate the planet to such an extent that we are driving other species to extinction at hundreds of times the naturally occurring rate, inadvertently putting our own survival as a species in peril*. 

The project was to have assembled people around the world on 22nd May 2020 (the International Day for Biological Diversity), to stand in formation in coloured clothing and generate locally relevant giant images of endangered plant and animal species. Each image was to have appeared at 14:00 local time, unfurling a tapestry of species through time and space, from east to west across the day.  

Due to Covid-19, the event was postponed.  We are now planning to hold it on 22 May, 2021, during the UN biodiversity conference COP15, which will set targets for the protection of biodiversity worldwide for the coming (critical) decade.  Instead of standing in close proximity, images will be created by people laying down items of coloured clothing in the place where they would have stood.  A sense of absence will pervade the work, referring both to the loss of species and the loss of people to the pandemic.  Such pandemics, experts say, are increasingly likely in a world where we encroach ever more on wild habitats.

The loss of biodiversity is an issue that transcends race, colour, gender, and nationality.  It threatens our ability to continue producing food, and upsets the ecosystems that regulate our air, our water and which can help in mitigating the changes we are starting to experience in our climate.

We aim to engage people with the vital need to protect the diversity in their local ecosystem, wherever they are, and to create a visually memorable mass event in an effort to convince world leaders that people care about nature.   

Our email is withNature2020@gmail.com or follow on social media @withNature2020

 

* The WWF Living Planet Report 2018 reported an overall decline of 60% in population sizes of vertebrate species since 1970, with current rates of species extinctions 100 to 1000 times the background rate. In October 2017, German researchers working in protected areas reported a 75% decline in flying insects over 27 years.  In May 2019, the United Nations estimated that humans are now threatening one million species with extinction.