The latest World Economic Forum Report 2020, states that a “novel zoonotic disease, possibly triggered by human disturbance of nature” brought many sectors to a grinding halt. The 2020 pandemic has afforded us a rare opportunity to reset things because it is clear that if we continue with business as usual, we are walking off a cliff with our eyes wide open.
A reset is needed, one that must result in an outcome that benefits humans and nature for the long game, in a system that gives more than it takes. A reset such as this only begins with changing our behaviour and mindsets. Human behaviour change is fundamental to shifting systems without which we are merely going to go back to business as usual hoping for a different outcome. Behaviour change requires four fundamental pillars and processes that are iterative;
- educate (learn, understand and digest),
- engage (effective 2-way dialogue that evolves over time),
- empower (linked to trust and ownership) and
- enable (skills, structures and know-how).
This must be tightly coupled with four fundamental principles; empathy, energy/enthusiasm, ease and endurance. Furthermore, only when nature is restored, regeneratively used through responsible production and sustainable consumption in an equitable manner will both nature and people thrive. So, while we all know we need to reset our economies, our businesses and our lives with nature, our behaviour will dictate our success.
Pavs Pillay, WWF-SA Environmental Behaviour Change Lead & WWF-SASSI Manager