News Release 

Elsevier announces support for World Environment Day 2020

Starting today, over 60 carefully selected journal articles and book chapters, published by Elsevier, will be openly accessible to raise awareness on climate action and biodiversity


New York, June 5, 2020 - In recognition of World Environment Day, Elsevier, a global leader in information analytics specializing in science and health, has launched a free access special issue of curated content focused on biodiversity.

Consisting of journal articles and book chapters supporting the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this free resource is intended to further new research and to raise awareness around this year's theme on biodiversity (#ForNature).

"Our commitment to improving sustainability performance across RELX, and global action to advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), is reflected in our support for World Environment Day," said Dr. Márcia Balisciano, Global Head of Corporate Responsibility for Elsevier's parent company, RELX.

The public can access the special issue by visiting the RELX SDG Resource Centre. In addition to the biodiversity content collection, Dr. Balisciano interviews Dr. Sam Scheiner, Editor-in-Chief of 'Encyclopedia of Biodiversity, Third Edition' as part of a podcast series on the impact of COVID-19 and the SDGs: listen here.

World Environment Day 2020 showcases how humans are inextricably linked to (and depend upon) nature for our existence and quality of life through a number of virtual offerings including webinars, an interactive nature game, stories and videos, which showcase the interdependence of all life on Earth.

Events from the wildfires in Australia to the COVID-19 outbreak demonstrate how human encroachment on nature erodes biodiversity, creating unprecedented challenges for humankind.

"The pandemic has shown that when we act with urgency and in unison as a global community, we can change the course of events. Science provides the basis for that action," says Suzanne BeDell, Managing Director of Elsevier's Education, Reference, and Continuity group. "Just as each of us are responsible for slowing the spread of COVID-19, we are just as responsible for protecting our fragile planet."

Held annually since 1974, World Environment Day promotes progress on the environmental aspect of the SDGs, for example, the synergy of biodiversity with healthy life below water (SDG 14) and on land (SDG 15).1

To further support #WorldEnvironmentDay, Elsevier's Education, Reference, and Continuity Group, along with its Scientific, Technical and Medical Journals group, are publishing curated content, covering a range of topics including responsible consumption, water quality, agricultural systems, and health/well-being.

The goal in highlighting over 60 carefully curated chapters and articles is to illustrate the dependability and care that scientific research offers in various aspects of biodiversity.

"The umbrella term 'biodiversity' is one of the fastest growing focus areas for researchers, governments and policy influencers," said Philippe Terheggen, Managing Director, Elsevier Journals, and member of the company's Sustainability Board. "I hope this special issue on the topic of biodiversity for World Environment Day will be inspiring and underline the pressing relevance for everyone to contribute."

To access the special issue collection of articles and book chapters visit the SciTech Connect Blog or the RELX SDG Resource Center.


Notes for editors

Examples of the impact on Earth's biodiversity include:

  • Wildlife declining on average by over 60 percent in the last 50 years, putting at risk up to 1 million species to experience mass extinction in this decade;
  • dramatic changes to the Earth's biosphere with two-thirds of our oceans impacted by human activity;
  • live coral cover on reefs nearly halved; and
  • one-third of all forest area lost, putting the collection of all life and nature on Earth at risk.

These changes in land and sea use derived from the exploitation of organisms, pollution and climate change are contributing to the largest global impact on nature. Underpinned by societal values and behaviors including unsustainable production and consumption, humankind's unsustainable use of nature is largely to blame for the degradation in today's ecosystems.

1Source: WED 2020 Working Brief accessed May 29, 2020

About Elsevier

Elsevier is a global information analytics business that helps scientists and clinicians to find new answers, reshape human knowledge, and tackle the most urgent human crises. For 140 years, we have partnered with the research world to curate and verify scientific knowledge. Today, we're committed to bringing that rigor to a new generation of platforms. Elsevier provides digital solutions and tools in the areas of strategic research management, R&D performance, clinical decision support, and professional education; including ScienceDirect, Scopus, SciVal, ClinicalKey and Sherpath. Elsevier publishes over 2,500 digitized journals, including The Lancet and Cell, 39,000 e-book titles and many iconic reference works, including Gray's Anatomy. Elsevier is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers.

Media contact

David Tucker
Elsevier Communications, Europe

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