Governments must work with local people to save the world’s nature

Press release, 30 September 2020
In a statement on the United Nations Summit on Biodiversity, Andrew Norton, director of IIED, said:

“This summit and the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature are clear signs that governments acknowledge the scale of the crisis facing the natural world and the urgent need for substantial action. Fundamental changes to our economic, trade and food systems are vital at every level to put nature on the road to recovery.

“But all actions, including those focused on increasing the amount of land that is protected, need to recognise and respect the rights and knowledge of the Indigenous Peoples and local communities who live in and around nature-rich areas.

"Action must not lead to their displacement, marginalisation or impoverishment. Their deep knowledge of species, ecosystems and how to protect them is crucial for halting biodiversity loss and restoring it for us now and for future generations.”  

Media enquiries

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Beth Herzfeld, IIED head of media, on +44 (0)7557 658 482 or email

Notes to editors