'Eco awakening' as WWF report shows surge in global environmental concern
Daniel Harries
The slow loris, a protected species, being reintroduced into the wild. /CFP

The slow loris, a protected species, being reintroduced into the wild. /CFP

The number of people concerned with the environment has "dramatically increased" in the past five years, according to new research. 

The research conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) showed a 16 percent rise in public concern over nature and biodiversity loss in the past five years (2016-2020).

According to the WWF's press release, those in "emerging markets," such as India and Latin America, were becoming increasingly aware of the "planetary crisis." The group dubbed the change in attitude as an "eco-awakening."



Trash or Treasure: Our special report on waste

Building used by international media in Gaza destroyed by airstrike

Long COVID-19 linked to early aging of immune system


"In a clear validation of a growing trend, concerned individuals and consumers are acting on their concerns and demanding action over nature loss and biodiversity in an assortment of ways," the release added.  

One of the metrics the research looked at was "digital activism" which rose 65 percent over the five years. The WWF linked this in part to legacy news organizations, spiritual leaders such as Pope Francis and celebrities consistently voicing their concern about environmental degradation.

The combined social media following of these concerned actors reaches an audience of almost 1 billion people. 

In India, a country that, along with neighboring nations, is at the forefront of climate change, the volume of tweets mentioning nature or biodiversity surged by 550 per cent.

READ MORE: Darwin's Arch loses its top due to erosion in Galapagos

A growing number of people now believe the loss of nature is a serious issue, the report claims. People in Latin America are most concerned with the environment, 96 percent of respondents considering the loss of nature as a serious global problem.

"This shift in public sentiment reflects a hard reality, as people in emerging markets are most likely to experience the devastating impact of nature loss," reads the WWF's statement.

Search Trends