The 2021 Virtual World Biodiversity Forum Virtual will focus on actions for transitions and transformations through the lens of biodiversity (science), and provide concepts and ideas for how society as a whole can move towards Living in Harmony with Nature. Focussing on transition points and transformation necessary to achieve this goal, the event series will shape narratives and highlight actionable outcomes.
On the virtual stage of the World Biodiversity Forum, this event saw global leaders in biodiversity discuss the questions: Why do we need to take action and what do we want to achieve? Focusing on transition points and the transformation necessary to achieve this goal, the event aims to shape narratives and to highlight actionable outcomes.
UN Sustainable Development Goals Addressed
Loss of biodiversity, changing climate, and an increase in extreme events threaten to damage human health, economies, and societies – it is high time to put the world on track to achieve the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity “Living in Harmony with Nature”.
In her special address, Dr. Larigauderie, Executive Secretary, IPBES, quotes the 2020 IPBES global assessment report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, which stresses that nature is deteriorating at an unprecedented rate and scale in human history. Out of the 18 nature contributions, 15 have been declining. These include nature’s ability to regulate air quality and the environment, non-material contributions such as physical and psychological experiences of nature as well as the identity people derive from nature, and the capacity of ecosystems to maintain future options for humans. The only increase we see is in material contributions in the form of energy, food, and feed that are obtained at the expense of those previously mentioned. With the current negative trends, many SDGs related to food, water, health, and climate, will be missed by 2030.
Nature is the origin of most infectious diseases and the majority of known pandemics are caused by microbes found on animals. Drivers of the big three issues – climate change, biodiversity loss and pandemics – overlap; thus, the three should be discussed in tangent. Yet currently, there is not enough political attention placed on the issue of biodiversity loss in the public media. This is why, as David Cooper, Deputy Executive Secretary, CBD, discusses in his presentation, the Global Biodiversity Outlook 5 calls for a biodiversity-inclusive One Health approach transition. “This transition recognizes the full range of linkages between biodiversity and all aspects of human health and addresses the common drivers of biodiversity loss, disease risk, and ill-health. “
Call to Action
There needs to be more conversations. Actors in the field with the knowledge and expertise need to disseminate their work and make everyone in society more aware and included so each group knows they have a role to play.
The GBO 5 report recognizes the multidimensions of health and the linkages between the multitude of issues that need to be tackled together. Due to the common drivers between health, climate change, and biodiversity loss, they shouldn’t be viewed separately but rather looked at together to come up with solutions that about a positive feedback loop.
Linkages between SDGs and other overarching goals need to be made for investing in education, fighting for gender equality and reducing financial inequalities are all essential to achieving goals in a multitude of sectors whether it be climate action agenda or biodiversity loss prevention.
Building a twin-track approach or duality in thinking where we are thinking of both the overarching steps required to make large systematic and transformative changes but also looking at the marginal changes that can be made by improving on technologies we already have. Marginal changes across a multitude of sectors too can bring about transformational changes.
There needs to be an improvement in our ability to monitor biodiversity loss. We need indicators and meteorological services for biodiversity and we need an operational and funded organization to be able to monitor these indicators.
David Cooper, Convention on Biological Diversity
Dr. Anne Larigauderie, IPBES Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
Rashid Sumaila, University of British Columbia
Mark Rounsevell, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology