Stories for our children - The world in 2050
Wednesday 20 October 2010
A children’s book for politicians will provide a stark warning to the world’s governments of the depleted natural legacy that they stand to leave behind if they fail to halt biodiversity loss.
Stories for our Children, created by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and illustrated by award-winning political cartoonist Martin Rowson, tells the story of what our planet will look like in 2050 if we continue to overexploit the natural world.
The book shows the gradual demise of the planet as it struggles under the weight of an inflated population of more than nine billion people. The planet stares in dismay at bald patches of deforested land the size of Australia, dehydrates from lack of fresh water and doubles over from ocean acidification and overfishing. In the end, the planet is left holding the bones of the 25 per cent of all species that may be lost over the next century.
“Stories for our Children was created to help the world’s governments and general public visualise the world we are passing on to the next generation. We purposely made the story quite dark, because these are unfortunately very likely scenarios if governments do not take immediate and radical steps to protect the rest of life on earth,” says Prof Jonathan Baillie, co-author and Director of Conservation at ZSL.
Copies of the book will be hand-delivered to legislators during the final week of the conference on biodiversity in Nagoya, where decisions on new targets for reducing biodiversity loss will be thrashed out by 195 countries.
“Illustrations have influenced politics throughout history. I wanted to illustrate Stories for our Children because I believe the next generation has the right to experience every aspect of the natural world that we see around us today,” says Martin Rowson.
Watch a short film created from the book below:
You are an integral part of nature; your fate is tightly linked with biodiversity, the huge variety of other animals and plants, the places they live and their surrounding environments, all over the world. You rely on this diversity of life to provide you with the food, fuel, medicine and other essentials you simply cannot live without.
Yet this rich diversity is being lost at a greatly accelerated rate because of human activities. This impoverishes us all and weakens the ability of the living systems, on which we depend, to resist growing threats such as climate change. 2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity, and people all over the world are working to safeguard this irreplaceable natural wealth and reduce biodiversity loss. This is vital for current and future human wellbeing. We need to do more. Now is the time to act.
Stories of our Children was funded by Synchronicity Earth.