What Tencent is Doing to Support Biodiversity

The variety of life on our planet is in severe decline. According to a 2020 World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report, monitored wildlife populations fell 69 percent between 1970 and 2018. This shocking loss of biodiversity in less than 50 years puts our world and its 8 billion human inhabitants at a level of risk comparable to the impact of global climate change. 

In fact, the two threats are clearly interlinked, since climate change, land-clearing, over-grazing, over-fishing and deforestation are among the leading causes of habitat loss and declining biodiversity. 

The loss of biodiversity has already been affecting the health and well-being of humans. Firstly, a diverse biosphere underpins our food supply. Millions of species have to interact in an interconnected ecosystem in order to make available the huge variety of food that we consume. A more biodiverse planet also gives us more species of plants and animals to source medicine from to fight diseases. Biodiversity also provides many jobs globally and benefits businesses which rely on natural resources. Finally, protecting, respecting and preserving the variety of life on the planet is simply the right thing to do for the future of our planet and for humanity.

Transitioning to a Better Model 

Biodiversity loss is an unprecedented challenge that demands collective action from communities worldwide. There is a pressing need to safeguard biodiversity in across the world including in China, a home to more than 30,000 plant and 6,300 animal species, many of which are currently under threat.

In order to tackle the issue of biodiversity loss, technology companies have harnessed innovative solutions to address complex environmental challenges. Policymakers also made an ambitious pledge at the United Nations Biodiversity Conference (COP 15) to conserve 30 percent of the world’s land and oceans by 2030.

Tencent believes in the potential of leveraging technology to help tackle the challenge of biodiversity. We recently unveiled our strategy and approach towards biodiversity, detailing how we leverage the power of the internet to protect nature. 

In December, we attended COP 15 to talk about how we are using leading-edge internet technology to improve biodiversity. For example: 

  • Working with the WWF, Tencent launched a digital detection platform to track snow leopards and collect essential data to protect their shrinking habitat in China. Snow leopards are listed as “vulnerable” and there may be as few as 4,000 left on the planet, primarily in China. The Tencent platform conducts data analysis and generates visualized results that show the number, location and activity of snow leopards to help rangers and environmental specialists to develop protection strategies.
  • The illegal wildlife trade has had a devastating impact on global biodiversity. To help curb the illegal trading of wildlife online, Tencent launched a new platform for people to report suspicious activity related to the buying and selling of illegal wildlife. The platform received around 10,000 reports from concerned citizens in just one year and Tencent has helped crack down on several illegal trading networks involving pangolins, ivory, Tibetan antelope horns, rhino horns and tiger bone worth more than RMB30 million. Tencent has also shared our success in combating criminal networks that profit from illegal wildlife trading with international organizations such as the Financial Action Task Force.
  • The Manchurian tiger, or Siberian tiger, is an endangered species with as few as 4,000 left in the wild, mostly concentrated in Northern China. To save this majestic animal, China has set up several nature reserves in remote areas to restore the tigers’ natural environment. To raise awareness of the tigers’ plight and enable nature-lovers to observe them in their natural habitat, Tencent applied its immersive media compression technology to allow people to take a virtual tour of a nature reserve on their laptop or smartphone. 

As a leading Internet technology company, Tencent has used the power of the internet and technology to help address biodiversity challenges. Through our biodiversity initiatives and other sustainability programs, Tencent seeks to uphold its mission and vision, "Value for Users, Tech for Good", and take action to protect nature, enhance human well-being, and promote a sustainable and healthy planet.

Read our Biodiversity Statement here: https://www.tencent.com/en-us/esg/environment/biodiversity-statement.html