LONDON, Sept 30 (Reuters) - British broadcaster David
Attenborough led a call from conservation groups on Wednesday
for the world to invest $500 billion a year to halt the
destruction of nature, warning that the future of the planet was
in "grave jeopardy."
Attenborough, whose new film "A Life on Our Planet"
documents the dangers posed by climate change and the extinction
of species, issued the call hours ahead of a U.N. summit aimed
at galvanising action to protect wildlife.
"Our natural world is under greater pressure now than at any
time in human history, and the future of the entire planet on
which every single one of us depends is in grave jeopardy,"
Attenborough, 94, said in a statement.
"We still have an opportunity to reverse catastrophic
biodiversity loss, but time is running out."
The call to redirect financing away from fossil fuels and
other polluting industries and into locally-led conservation was
launched by environmental group Flora & Fauna International and
backed by more than 130 organisations.
The world spends an estimated $80-90 billion on conservation
each year, but studies show that hundreds of billions of dollars
may be needed to save ecosystems from collapse.
In a pre-recorded message to the one-day U.N. summit on
Wednesday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that there
was growing evidence of a desire to avert "looming disaster."
"Let this be the day that action begins. And let us leave
the next generation a world every bit as diverse and wondrous as
the one we inherited," Johnson said.
Britain, Canada and others joined the European Union on
Monday in pledging to protect 30% of their land and seas by
2030. U.N. officials hope to secure a global agreement on that
target at a major round of negotiations on biodiversity due to
take place in China in 2021.
(Reporting by Matthew Green
Editing by Alistair Bell)