Our 2022 roadmap to the Biodiversity COP15 in Montreal began this Wednesday in New York with Part 1 of World Biodiversity Summit, alongside the UN General Assembly and Climate Week NYC. The day gathered a full house, both in-person and digitally, with an audience from over 120 countries around the globe – a tremendous turnout which only proves the significance and importance of this topic.
But not only in numbers - the breadth of expertise and reach as well as the depth and height of reach of this Summit was huge, across the panels and the organisations that were in attendance, which is clear proof that public-private partnership on biodiversity belongs not only on the UNs but also on the world’s agenda.
Interrelated crises: There was a shared sense of the interrelated crises we face across climate, biodiversity and human welfare, and an enthusiasm to focus on biodiversity. Previously under-discussed, we saw participation from 2500 digital registrants and over 400 in-person participants across the day. While we can learn from the discussions on climate that many panellists saw as years in advance, there was recognition that biodiversity was inherently more varied, complex and uniquely place-based.
Connected solutions: The interrelated connection of the problems in turn pointed to many interrelated solutions. Examples that included innovative finance to primary forest preservation, created positive feedback loops and multiple benefits. To make an impact and to fight the interrelated crisis of climate, extinction and social equity, we must work in the space between the forums and not have processes that solve these issues in isolation.
Preserve beats Restore: There were many calls for the importance and benefits of preservation over restoration. Fixing the biodiversity issue is so complex – but it is important to remember that it is environmentally, financially and socially more impactful to preserve what we already have rather than to recreate what has been lost.
Call for a Paris moment in Biodiversity: There was a definitive call for a Paris moment in Montreal to drive ambition and set clear goals and targets. Equally, there was a strong willingness from the audience to step in and engage with the UNCBD process, including demonstrating interest and sharing research and insights.
From ’Takers’ to ‘Members’: Finally, to end on a philosophical and positive note - the most powerful system change will come from co-creating the mental paradigm shift from behaving like ‘takers' and owners to ‘leavers’, stewards and members of the wider community of all beings on earth.
“Let’s not talk about what you are going to do in 2030, 2040 and 2050. Let’s talk about what you are doing right now, and year by year, make sure you are good on your word.”
H.E. Erika Mouynes, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Panama
We were very pleased to announce the launch of a new, cross-sector World Biodiversity Network. World Biodiversity Network will bring together stakeholders in biodiversity across government, business, finance and civil society, with the aim of facilitating year-round, cross-sector dialogue, innovative partnerships and increasing investments with the aim of meeting global biodiversity goals in mind. For more information and to join our network, please click the button below.
World Biodiversity Summit - Part 1 was the first event in this year’s roadmap. Join us next time for the sessions we will host at World Climate Summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, alongside COP27 for World Biodiversity Summit - Part 2.
The final part of this year’s World Biodiversity Summit series will be held in Montreal, alongside the UNCBD COP15 in December. Be sure to join us for an important announcement regarding a new international investment initiative with a focus on biodiversity at World Biodiversity Summit - Part 3.
“This will require bold actions, partnerships and investments, but I have no doubt that we have the capacity to create the nature-positive future we want to live in.”
Jens Nielsen, CEO, World Climate Foundation
We are excited to continue helping make connections and build bridges: between the public and private sector, the climate and biodiversity communities and between ambition and action plans. These key learnings and takeaways will help drive the agenda and focus forward in Sharm el-Sheikh and Montreal.
Thank you, once again, to all our partners, speakers and delegates for your valued contribution.