It was the development of The Animals Campaign in November 2016 that first provided the phrase ‘Nature Needs More’ which inspired us to create an organisation of the same name.
We already knew that our work had to move beyond behaviour change and demand reduction campaigns to explore a new way of nature conservation. To save our precious wildlife we need a mixture of pragmatism, innovation and vision. Similarly, we believe that the traditional conservation approaches have been shown to not be enough and a business-as -usual approach must be challenged with pragmatic and innovative ideas. Extensive commercialisation of wildlife and the over-generalisation of the sustainable use model has not worked to protect species, with extinction of up to 1 million species a probable outcome of continuing down our current path.
In order to turn things around for wildlife we need to change our fundamental assumptions and embrace better strategies for ensuring the world’s wildlife and pristine environments don’t just survive, but they once again thrive.
We have highlighted a few, but there are more. The key thing about these messages is that they remind us that there are alternatives.
There is no proof that sustainable-use has worked to save wildlife or environments. We must remember that CITES is a trade organization, not a conservation organization and over the years’ most large conservation organizations have adopted a pro-trade stance or sit on the fence about it. It has gone unchallenged as many large NGOs worry that if they do question the ‘there is no alternative (TINA)’ approach it may scare away their large government and corporate donors.
Nature Needs More is particularly interested in the basic income model and had researched the possibilities of linking a tiered basic income model to conservation via what we have called the new 3Rs (Re-Habilitation, Re-Vegetation, Re-Wilding).
We finds the work of Tompkins Conservation, through the vision of Kris and, the late, Doug Tompkins a great approach and we hope that it inspires more-and-more people to make such a contribution to wildlife and the natural world.
The Non-Human Rights Project promotes that humans are not the only animals entitled to recognition and protection of their fundamental rights. They work with common law to promote recognition of nonhuman animals as beings worthy of moral and legal consideration and with their own inherent interests in freedom from captivity, participation in a community of other members of their species, and the protection of their natural habitats.
Dr John Hadley from the University of Western Sydney proposes that animals would be given legal property rights and human guardians would be appointed to represent them in court. Giving animals legal ownership of their habitat might be the key to protecting biodiversity. As a result, any people who wanted to modify habitat on their property would have to negotiate with guardians through an independent tribunal before taking any action.
Nature Needs More turns for inspiration to individuals such as Polly Higgins and Steve Wise. They have stepped in to the void left by traditional conservation organisations.
What is interesting is that in a area where traditional conservation is recommitting guidelines and voluntary codes of practice, Polly Higgins, Steve Wise and John Hadley are calling for stronger and new legislation to protect wildlife and the natural world.
It has become apparent that traditional conservation groups, large and small, have very little ability to deal with government, donors, agencies, businesses or individuals who have a (overt or, particularly, covert) trade liberalisation agenda. They miss the point, the agendas, the politics and the power plays and will remain marginalised and ineffective in saving the natural world from the effects of unconstrained growth. That’s tragic, because capitalism and the neoliberals won’t stop.
The Animals Campaign was based on the work of such visionaries who have articulated ideas that we have incorporated into our work and that we showcase in The Animals Campaign. Specifically we have been inspired by the work of: