Why the CBD Must Take a Whole-Society Approach to Protecting Nature

Excerpt from the Thomson Reuters Foundation News Op-ed, "Everyone is needed in the new global push to protect nature," by Elizabeth Mrema,Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, and Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, WWF's Global Lead Climate & Energy.

"The crisis facing nature has never been more apparent. The costs to mankind of our degradation of the natural world have never been more evident. Fortunately, the beginnings of a meaningful response – in the form of a post-2020 global biodiversity framework – is close at hand. 

But, for that framework to succeed, governments must ensure broad participation in its formal processes. Non-state actors – sub-national governments, business and the financial sector, academia, civil society, youth and indigenous peoples and local communities – have a critical role to play in delivering biodiversity outcomes. 

There is no denying the urgency of the challenge. As the IPBES Global Assessment warned, an estimated one million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction. WWF’s Living Planet Report found that global wildlife is in freefall. 

The crisis in nature has direct impacts on human society and prosperity. As the World Economic Forum’s Nature Risk Rising report points out, more than half of the world’s total gross domestic product, or $44 trillion, involves activities that are moderately or highly dependent on nature. Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused the greatest shock to the global economy since records began, has exposed our exposure to zoonotic diseases jumping from stressed animal populations, habitat and ecosystem loss. 

The report Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review underlined the fact that nature is an asset. It can no longer be treated with no value, and thus continue to be degraded to the point where we remain more vulnerable and exposed to future pandemics.  

Action to halt and reverse the crisis in nature is, at last, rising to the top of the international policy agenda. The rescheduled 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CDB), due to take place in Kunming, China, is expected to agree a successor to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. 

We are confident that governments at COP-15 are capable of building a collective, ambitious, measurable vision for biodiversity conservation and sustainable use that encourages transformational change. That vision must incorporate intermediate objectives and mechanisms to measure progress. It must recognise that this vision and its objectives are an essential element for people’s livelihoods and sustainable development. It must ensure that this vision, and its objectives and mechanisms, are effectively mainstreamed into domestic policies.

The question is, how can this vision be realised?" 


Click here to read the full op-ed, originally published on Thomson Reuters Foundation News website


More information:

Thomson Reuters Foundation News website

UNEA Side Event 

Make a Commitment: Sharm El-Sheikh to Kunming Action Agenda for Nature and People


Re-watch a UNEA-5 virtual side event about the Sharm El-Sheikh to Kunming Action Agenda for Nature and People

On the margins of the fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5), the Governments of Egypt and China, in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, organized a virtual side event.

The objective of the event was to demonstrate how commitments by non-state actors (e.g. civil society organizations, business and financial sectors, cities and other local authorities) can help to raise ambition for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework and support actions to promote its implementation, while also contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

For more information and to re-watch the event click here: