Biodiversity is the engine of our planet.

It’s often defined as the “variety of all living things.” Our founder Dr. Jane Goodall calls it “the tapestry of life”. 

There are millions of ecosystems around the world, and each one is a complex web of interacting species. All those species work together, and help our planet breathe and grow. But when one thread of the tapestry is pulled out, the whole thing starts to unravel.

Human activity is rapidly accelerating the pace of biodiversity loss around the world. With over a million species at risk, we’re experiencing the first mass extinction since the age of the dinosaurs. This time, humanity is the asteroid.

But here at JGIC, there are reasons for hope.

Banner photo by Michelle Valberg.

Biodiversity Loss: Reasons for Hope

Share this video with friends and family to remind them that hope for a better world is in their hands.

By the Numbers

Extinction
1st

mass extinction in 65 million years is happening as you read this.

Canada
70%

decline in vertebrate populations over the past 50 years in Canada and Africa.

Land
75%

of land masses have been significantly affected by human activity.

Species
1m

species are on the brink of extinction right at this very moment.

The Convergence of 3 Crises

Here’s how biodiversity loss connects with climate change and environmental inequity.

Biodiversity loss hurts our ability to fight climate change.

  • Forests absorb a lot of greenhouse gases from our atmosphere. When we cut trees, we lose that ability. Not to mention, the carbon stored in the wood is released back into the atmosphere.
  • The white surfaces of glaciers reflect the sun’s rays and help reduce heating. But climate change is melting those glaciers, transforming white reflective areas into dark sea water. This dark water actually absorbs more solar heat, and accelerates global warming.

Environmental inequity is a huge factor here.

  • As developed countries like Canada source products (like cell phones) from developing countries like Africa, local raw materials are depleted. Pollution, waste and toxicity increase. Habitats and species are destroyed (see our The Forest is Calling campaign for more). 
  • Many of our most marginalized communities, including Indigenous populations, live in rural areas. They may be more reliant on nature for their livelihoods. They’re also affected by activities like mining and logging, making them more vulnerable to biodiversity loss and climate change. 

Photos courtesy of award-winning photographer Michelle Valberg.

The best days of my life were when I could spend hours in the rainforest and learn how everything was interconnected in this wonderful tapestry of life.

Dr. Jane Goodall

How We’re Tackling Biodiversity Loss

Africa Programs

Tchimpounga Rehabilitation Sanctuary

We support the critical work of caregivers to rehabilitate orphaned chimpanzees.

Photo: Sophie Muset

Campaign

#ForeverWild

This global campaign aims to end illegal wildlife trafficking, a major cause of biodiversity loss around the world.

News & Updates

Dr. Jane

Dr. Goodall’s Message for World Oceans Day 2022

For World Oceans Day 2022, Jane shares her wonderful knowledge about oceans with us, and inspires us to look around for the good news stories and wonder – of which there is plenty. Thank you, Dr. Goodall!

News and Updates

Our New Strategy

Our society is now facing 3 global crises: climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental inequity. These crises affect and magnify each other. And they are the focus of our new strategic plan. If substantive action to address the issues had begun back when scientific evidence first emerged, we would not be staring them in the […]

Youth Voices

This Matters: Canada & The Global Biodiversity Loss Crisis

Whether you go camping all the time, hike every so often or plant a garden on your balcony; you can’t deny that Canada is home to a rich source of biodiversity and natural resources. From coast to coast to coast, we have kilometers of intact forests, beautiful wetlands, abundant amounts of fresh water and thousands […]