We are living in the age of humans, a time referred to by many as the Anthropocene. Our species has caused huge changes on our planet, including global warming, ocean acidification, and habitat destruction.

Earth's ecology is in a critical state. But we have the tools to understand what is happening, and what needs to be done. 

Find out what the Museum is doing to create a sustainable future and what you can do to help

The issues explained

How have humans changed the planet? And why does it matter? Let Museum scientists take you through the facts.

Our Broken Planet: How We Got Here and Ways to Fix It

Tune into a year-long season of activity throughout 2021, exploring why and how our relationship with the natural world needs to change.

Learn more about how human actions have shaped our planet and hear from people around the world who are working towards a more sustainable future. Browse the stories below or join one of our free online events.

Nature and you

We all depend on the natural world for the food we eat, fresh water, medicines and even the oxygen we breathe. Discover more about how nature supports us.

Biodiversity loss

Biodiversity is the incredible variety and volume of life on Earth, and the habitats and ecosystems the support it. It allows us all to live healthy lives.

Humans have been around for a very short period of time - but we have still managed to cause a lot of damage. Our actions have disrupted the balance of life on Earth, through:

  • deforestation
  • intensive farming
  • exploiting natural resources
  • man-made climate change
  • introducing invasive species
  • pollution and pesticides.

How to help nature

Small actions add up to big changes. Discover what you can doBuild a home for wildlife in your garden, cut down on plastic pollution and feed the local birds.

You can also use your voice to ask world leaders to prioritise the natural world.

Hope for the future

Hope isn't lost. If we all work together, we can help our planet recover. Celebrate the latest success stories.

New Zealand's quirky kākāpō are pulled back from the edge of extinction

Kākāpō are large, flightless parrots that were once widespread across New Zealand but hunted to near extinction. Thanks to highly specialised conservation efforts, these unique birds are slowly bouncing back.

Our research

We have declared a planetary emergency. Our 300 scientists are working on understanding our past so we can protect our future. 

Using a collection of more than 80 million specimens, we'll help tackle new diseases, turn around the climate emergency, protect food supplies and boost biodiversity.

Climate change

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing humanity. Find out more about global warming, greenhouse gases and fossil fuels. Discover what we're doing to help understand and mitigate their effects.

What is climate change?

Climate change is the defining issue of our time. Find out what climate change is, why it matters and what it could mean for our collective future.

Plastic pollution

Plastics have permeated almost every part of our planet, including uninhabited islands and the deepest parts of the ocean. Find out the effect plastic has on nature and us.

Endangered species and extinction

Extinction rates are accelerating all over the world. Find out which species are most at risk.


Mining for natural resources has changed the face of our planet. Read more about mining for fossil fuels, precious metals and critical elements, the effects on nature and how we can power our world more sustainably.

Air pollution

The World Health Organisation estimates that man-made air pollution kills about seven million worldwide every year. Find out more about the causes and effects of air pollution.