Scientific knowledge on drivers and impacts of biodiversity loss is well established. With time running short to mitigate or reverse trends in biodiversity loss and land use change, parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) are to agree upon a new post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework during their fifteenth Conference of the Parties (COP-15) in 2020 in Kunming, China.
To realize the potential and impetus of COP15 as well as a growing public attention to the issue, we need a better understanding of what the CBD vision of "living in harmony with nature" and transformative change – as called for by IPBES- actually mean for people and economic sectors. The past two COPs, as well as the Aichi targets adopted in 2010, have stressed the role of mainstreaming biodiversity objectives in economic sectors.
Yet, so far mainstreaming efforts have not led to the transformative change need within economic sectors. On the one hand, this is partially rooted in our limited understanding of what such a transformative approach would imply for economic sectors. On the other hand and related to that, the business case for many companies and financial service providers is not yet sufficiently clear. For a successful new global framework, a dialogue within society, with the private sector, but also within the biodiversity community itself is needed to further imagine a future in which biodiversity can be protected and used sustainably in economic sectors.
New perspectives on how we could live "in harmony with nature" can help to spur our imagination and break down entrenched patterns of thinking. This can help to obtain a better understanding of what transformative change would mean and where we may need new complimentary approaches.
Several of such potentially disruptive approaches already exist but have not been implemented at scale. These approaches especially relate to the integration of biodiversity objectives in economic sectors, e.g. through standards and certification systems for sustainable supply chains, the economic valuation of ecosystem services and the true cost/price approach. In addition, food and agriculture is an important issue, which is able to mobilise more and more people for biodiversity - especially in the Global North - and to connect urban and rural areas (urban farming, regional and "forgotten varieties", food coops etc). Such approaches have already been tried and tested and enjoy wider acceptance, but could not be scaled up sufficiently in the past.
Further, there are less established approaches which are only emerging and which have hardly been piloted. These include proposals such as a basic income for so-called biodiversity hotspots or degrowth as a different paradigm of living from and with the land. Another idea is to protect half of the earth ("Half Earth"), which is represented by scientist Edward Wilson and the NGO Avaaz, among others. While Half Earth's approach reflects traditional conservation thinking, this idea could possibly be combined with that of a basic income for certain areas.
This panel discussion aims to explore the notion of transformative change by discussing new and more established approaches. Highlighting the role of experimentation and learning from the climate debate, we aim to further illustrate what transformative change could entail and contribute to a broader discussion on rethinking biodiversity governance.
Our confirmed panellists
Biodiversity revisited - taking a fresh look at biodiversity
— Dr Rebecca Shaw, Chief Scientist and Senior Vice President, WWF
Imagining transformative change for biodiversity – what can we learn from the climate debate?
— Prof Andrew Light, Distinguished Senior Fellow at World Resources Institute and Professor at George Mason University, United States
No Net Loss of biodiversity and the example of biodiversity offsets - What does transformative change mean for the private sector?
— Dr Marianne Darbi, Coordinator of the German Network-Forum for Biodiversity Research (NeFo) and Researcher at Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung (UFZ)
Degrowth and the conservation revolution
— Prof Bram Büscher, Wageningen University, Netherlands
A universal income for people in biodiversity hotpots
— Dr Felipe Campos, NOVA Information Management School, Portugal
Connecting cities and rural areas for biodiversity-friendly local food systems
— Serena Milano, General Secretary of the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity.
Moderation: Kathrin Ludwig, Project Manager for Biodiversity and Climate Policy, adelphi consult