Nature and Biodiversity

House on Fire: New podcast explores creative solutions for climate change 

Fanning the flames ... Episode One asks if humans and nature can ever be compatible.

James Bray
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Future of the Environment

• The World Economic Forum has launched a new weekly podcast focused on our biggest environmental issues.

• Includes interviews with inspirational people and ideas on ocean plastic, blue finance and the viability of carbon capture.

• Subscribe to House on Fire on Apple, Spotify, Acast and more.

In September this year, Sir David Attenborough joined Instagram, and within hours notched up over a million followers. His very first post said: "Saving the planet is now a communications problem."

We agree. The scale of the damage humanity is doing to the planet is the pre-eminent crisis of our times, dwarfing the current pandemic. If it is not solved, it will be the final crisis that our species faces. There is a very urgent need for everybody to understand the nature of the challenges we face, the solutions that exist, and how they can be part of those solutions.

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House on Fire is our contribution: a new podcast that dives deep into the greatest environmental stories on the planet, to surface the biggest ideas and the best solutions we know of that might yet keep planet Earth (our house) habitable - not just for nature, but for us.

At the Forum there are teams working on several aspects of saving the planet - climate change, deforestation, ocean plastic, biodiversity - and this gives us access to an extraordinary range of inspirational people and ideas.

House on Fire is where we will share those stories and, hopefully, that inspiration. Each episode will set out to answer a single pressing environmental question with the most insightful interviews we can bring to the table.

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First episode: are humans nature-compatible?

The first episode explores the relationship between humanity and the natural world. David Attenborough’s recent film, A Life on Our Planet, has made a powerful and popular appeal for humanity to learn a new respect and reverence for nature, and a new understanding of our proper relationship with the natural world. We speak to the World Wildlife Fund’s Colin Butfield, who was part of the production team, about making the film and the message at its heart: that saving our planet and its biodiversity is ultimately about saving ourselves.

This is an insight that indigenous peoples have always known and lived by. We speak to two indigenous leaders: Hindou Ibrahim, of the Mbororo people and President of the Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad; and Graeme Reed, a senior adviser at the Assembly of First Nations in Canada and is of mixed Anishinaabe and European descent. Both Hindou and Graeme give fascinating insight into indigenous perspectives on man and nature, as well as practical examples of what a relationship based on respect and reciprocity can look like.

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It’s one thing to say that humans need to live in harmony with nature, but how does the industrialized world put that into practice? What does a business look like when it's run on nature-friendly principles? This is something the Forum has been working hard to understand and we interview Alexia Semov, one of the authors of its recent report, The Future of Nature and Business, on what she’s learned. We also talk to companies that are actually trying to do this in the real world, like the UK-based T-shirt company Teemill and Brazilian cosmetics giant Natura. We’ll also hear from the Chief Risk Officer at Zurich Insurance, Peter Giger, on what biodiversity loss really means for all our futures, and how effectively we are managing that risk.

• House on Fire launches on 17 November. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Soundcloud and Acast.

• Listen to our sister podcasts World Vs Virus, about the global pandemic, and The Great Reset, on the efforts to "build back better" here.

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Nature and BiodiversityClimate Action
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