COP15: Jenga Tower May Soon Fall, Civil Society Groups Warn Global Communities

Posted on December 7, 2022



A giant jenga tower is on display at the The Palais des congrès de Montréal where the UN biodiversity conference is taking place for COP15 from 7-19 December.

The installation, made of recycled cardboard boxes, resembles the complex web of life and the risk we all face if we continue with a business-as-usual approach to our relationship with nature. Each brick nudged out of place represents the precarious position we put our planet in, with each species lost, ecosystem degraded, and livelihood ruined because of human-caused damage to biodiversity.

The jenga tower has been installed by the Nature Positive pavilion* and highlights the call from more than 350 civil society organisations – representing humanitarian, development and conservation organisations; faith groups; indigenous peoples; business coalitions; artists; youth; and more – for governments to strengthen the draft global biodiversity framework to secure a nature-positive world by 2030, in support of climate action and the SDGs.

“The jenga tower serves as a stark reminder to delegates in Montreal of the very life support systems we all rely on. By removing the foundational building blocks of nature, we risk destroying our societies and humankind. But there is still time to act. Governments meeting in Montreal this week can set a new course for our future and our children’s future. COP15 must be the moment the world comes together to secure an ambitious global biodiversity agreement, capable of reversing nature loss and delivering a nature-positive world this decade,” said Marco Lambertini, WWF International, Director General.

“Unlike a round of jenga, the biodiversity crisis is not a game we can afford to lose. Nature provides everything our societies and economies are built upon, yet we are dangerously close to bringing down this complex, life-sustaining system.  This COP offers an unmissable opportunity for governments to agree a Paris-style goal for nature that mobilizes all parts of society towards halting nature loss this decade. Business stands ready to play its part, provided ambitious policies are agreed in the coming weeks to steer corporate action. Right now, companies are calling for the political leadership that will empower them to contribute to a nature-positive future.” Eva Zabey, Executive Director, Business for Nature

“This jenga represents the dangerous game we play with biodiversity. We are watching the accelerated destruction of the natural world; every brick we pull out increases the risk of total collapse. However, unlike the popular game, we won’t be able to pick up the pieces and place them neatly back in a box, it’ll be too late,” said Andrew Deutz Director of Global Policy, Institutions and Conservation Finance at The Nature Conservancy.

“Nature underpins our health, wealth and happiness. It is critical for the future of our businesses, our livelihoods and our economies. The Jenga tower represents how close we are to a tipping point which, if crossed, will trigger the collapse of the natural world and disaster for all of us who depend on it. To protect it, we must recognize the value that nature provides to us and the fundamental connections between biodiversity, people, the climate, and the economy. Leaders must take integrated action at COP15 and secure a transformational agreement to reverse the loss of nature and deliver a just and necessary transition to a world where we live in harmony with nature,” said Mark Gough,  CEO of the Capitals Coalition.

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