Biodiversity loss is one of the greatest existential crises of our time. Current estimates suggest that the planet is losing more than ten thousand species to extinction per year — a thousand times faster than at any other point in history.
While stopping biodiversity loss requires long-term strategies, Razan Al Mubarak says that the work of IUCN and other conservation organisations is being hampered by the predominance of restricted funding — monies that are earmarked for specific, often short-term projects. In fact, restricted funding now accounts for 70 percent of IUCN’s revenue.
In an op-ed published in Eco-Business, Ms. Al Mubarak argues that addressing the biodiversity crisis requires long-term research, field projects, advocacy, and education, as well as institutional overhead like rent and salaries, that can best be maintained through unrestricted monetary donations.
As the world recovers from the pandemic, we must seize the opportunity to reimagine and rethink how we fund conservation for the long term. Stopping biodiversity loss takes decades of sustained effort, and right now we can ill afford to increasingly rely upon short-term, project-specific grants.
Governments, foundations, and philanthropists must take the lead in prioritising effective, consistent support in the form of unrestricted funding for the conservation organizations fighting on the front lines of the extinction crisis.