Natural History Museum Declares Planetary Emergency

 Detail of a stone statue depicting two children. The statue is placed outside and weathered.

The Natural History Museum’s stark and informative declaration recognizes "humanity's failure to combat our destructive impact on the planet's survival systems." 

The Natural History Museum of London declared a planetary emergency last month and shared an extensive Strategy to 2031 which prioritizes increasing sustainability, digitizing and securing the future of their collections, and engaging broad audiences by being ‘advocates for the planet.’ Beyond the plans they’ve committed to within their own institution, including transforming their museum gardens, the Natural History Museum will lead a citizen-science programme focused on tackling urban biodiversity loss in the region.

"I'm really proud of our new strategy - it's our boldest to date, and it couldn't be more timely. Given the current ecological crisis we live in, and the fact that as an organisation we're lucky to have incredible reach across audiences, we have an opportunity and responsibility to use our collections and expertise to raise awareness of our dependence and impact upon earth's natural systems. If we can encourage people to engage with the natural world, I'm confident they will care enough to want to take action to protect it, and we need that motivation now more than ever." - Camilla Tham, Anthropocene Engagement Manager at the Natural History Museum of London

The museum stated that their vision for the future includes a thriving planet and thriving people. Their Strategy to 2031 defines the path toward the museum becoming a global, scientific and cultural leader. Review the Strategy to 2031

Priorities of the strategy include:

  • Securing the future of the collection 
  • Transforming the study of natural history
  • Developing the gardens and galleries
  • Creating a resilient and sustainable organisation 
  • Engaging and involving the widest possible audience


Read the Natural History Museum’s declaration here: We are declaring a planetary emergency