Our planet is at crossroads and there is an urgent need to create opportunities to build awareness among new audiences, increase nature-based experiences and facilitate deeper connections with nature across sectors.
Firstly, increasing awareness is crucial at an individual level, as research shows that increased awareness is more likely to lead to positive behavior, especially if the behaviour change is easy to absorb or if the individual is confident that their actions will make a difference (Wright, 2014). Secondly, nature-based experiences have a powerful influence on the choices and careers people pursue. A growing body of evidence indicates that the best way to make people care about nature is for them to experience nature. Adult environmentalists frequently mention childhood experiences in nature as a primary reason for their career path (Chawla, 1998). Thirdly, establishing a deeper and more meaningful connection with nature is a necessary step in order for people to care about conservation. Frantz and Mayer (2014) have found that individuals would engage in effortful and inconvenient behavior for causes they care about. Published assessment tools for measuring nature connection consistently show a positive relationship between connectedness to nature and pro-environmental behaviors across multiple demographic groups (Frantz & Mayer, 2014). Hence, newer audiences will support conservation action only if they are given opportunities to increase awareness about nature, experience and connect with it deeply.
#NatureForAll is a global movement to inspire a new generation of thinkers and doers across all sectors of society to connect with nature and take action to support its conservation. At its core is a very simple idea: the more people experience, connect with, and share their love of nature, the more support there will be for its conservation.
The #NatureForAll movement is made up of a coalition of partners who represent a variety of sectors — health, urban, protected areas, communications, technology, education, arts, tourism, science, youth, and more. We believe that many different sectors of society will bring new insights and techniques to the goals of raising awareness and facilitating experiences and connections with nature. We encourage new and non-traditional partners as champions to promote #NatureForAll to join us in scaling up the movement.
As one of the key implementing partners of this IUCN programme, PCI Media Impact has been responsible for coalition building and campaigning in the lead-up to its launch at the IUCN Conservation Congress in September 2016, where it was launched through the coordination of an event-packed five-day pavilion. After its launch, it was formally accepted into the IUCN’s official programme. With Parks Canada, we are now continuing to build its public-facing component, as well as working on a community of purpose to share best practices among partners. The overall goal of the formal #NatureForAll components is to gain a growing set of commitments from organizations who plan to incorporate #NatureForAll concepts into their strategies and programs.
In addition, #NatureForAll partnered with our other program, Comics Uniting Nations, to release a comic outlining Sustainable Development Goal 15, which aims to protect and restore land and its ecosystems. The comic, Anna’s Forest, can be found at https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/fullscreen/58631935/annas-forest-english
Also available is a #NatureForAll playbook, the IUCN Youth Curriculum Sourcebook, and a World Environment Day lesson plan, all of which are offered in multiple languages and on the campaign website.
#NatureForAll’s ultimate goal is to significantly increase the number of people globally who are aware of the benefits of nature, personally experience and connect with it, support its conservation and take action in its favor.