How often do you celebrate the natural world? The air, the sea, the wildlife, the forests, the fields and the cities – that, together, form the environment we are lucky enough to share with every other living thing on Earth.

It is something well worth admiring. As British naturalist David Attenborough says: “It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest.”

But it is also under threat. Global warming is melting ice caps and destroying habitats. Rising sea levels threaten whole cities. Species are disappearing at more than 100 times the natural rate.

A 2020 study found that over 500 species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians were on the brink of dying out completely. This is largely due to habitat destruction and poaching at the hands of humans. In 2019, deforestation in the Amazon reached its highest rate in a decade, threatening millions of creatures and plants. Our briefing on extinction details some of the species under threat.

Fortunately, there are ways everyone can contribute to protecting the environment – for instance, by reducing plastic use and saving electricity. Read our latest stories on our climate watch.

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Find out about three scientists who were among the first to detect and understand climate change in this brilliant video.


  1. Use this calculator to discover your environmental footprint. How could you improve your habits?
  2. Make a poster to raise awareness about extinction and how it affects the environment. Research useful facts and figures.
  3. Read our story about climate protests. Then make two columns of arguments for and against the statement: “Protests are the only way to make progress.”