Education: New Global Framework to Manage Nature — Here’s what you should know.

4 min read

Edition: July 27th, 2021
Curated by the Knowledge Team of ICS Career GPS

Biodiversity loss and climate change are occurring at unprecedented rates, threatening humanity’s very survival. (Image Credit: Getty)

Climate action failure, biodiversity loss and infectious diseases counted as the top three risks in the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report. 

It is imperative that leaders and citizens come together to initiate the economic and societal transformation needed today to build the world we want to inhabit in 2030.

Recently, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Secretariat released its first draft of its new Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.

  • The framework invites input and engagement from all sectors of society
  • Outlines action plans to protect, restore and sustainably manage nature and transform society’s relationship with the natural world

Here are five things you need to know: 

1. The post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework

  • Over the past two years, scientists, experts and government officials have been working on a framework to be adopted at the UN CBD COP15 that will set targets on how we manage nature through to 2030.
  • Businesses have an especially important role to play in fighting biodiversity loss and ensuring continued ecosystem services such as clean water, food security, etc. 
  • By aligning their strategy and operations to the framework, businesses secure their future as they all rely on nature and its ecosystem services. 
  • While the targets are not binding for businesses – they signal the government ambition and prioritisation of activities to fight the crisis of biodiversity loss.

2. Stopping the use of public money to harm public goods

  • Governments around the world have provided money through public subsidies and market price support for farmers.
  • But only 15% of these incentives support sustainable outcomes, while the majority may spur the overuse of fertilisers, among other perverse effects. 
  • Target 18 of the Framework commits governments to redirect, repurpose, reform or eliminate incentives harmful for biodiversity in a just way across sectors. 

3. Business impact and dependency on nature 

  • Target 15 of the framework asks all businesses to assess and report on their dependencies and impacts on biodiversity, reducing their negative impacts at least by half. 
  • The G7 finance ministers have endorsed the launch of the Taskforce on the Nature-related Financial Disclosures which has triggered many big financial services and investor companies to strengthen the reporting on biodiversity.
  • This means the cost of capital for any businesses not conducting a materiality assessment against nature will significantly suffer.

4. Financing for nature 

  • According to a report, a big investment is required by 2050 to tackle the triple planetary crisis of climate change, nature loss and land degradation.
  • Currently private finance accounts for only 14% of nature-based solutions. There is both a need and potential to grow this by valuing natural capital just the way that we value financial, physical and human capital.
  • There is need for great innovation from the business sector, and a consistent regulatory environment that supports market mechanisms with just safeguards for protecting and sustainably managing nature.
  • Investing in nature can not only increase our resilience to socioeconomic and environmental shocks, it can help societies thrive.

5. Positive ambition loop of government policies and business leadership

  • This is a first draft and there is scope to be more ambitious and create a truly transformative framework that adopts a clear global goal to reverse nature loss by 2030.
  • This global goal is being called for by many non-state actors and recognised by over 88 heads of states. 
  • It would send a strong signal to the business community that regulatory change is coming and business as usual is not an option anymore.
  • The UN CBD Secretariat is now inviting inputs from businesses and civil society to ensure it has a cross-sectoral implementation plan and public-private resources.
  • Business For Nature is working to join up businesses from across sectors and geographies to input into the first draft.

What is the World Economic Forum doing about nature?

  • Dynamic and flourishing natural ecosystems are the foundation for human wellbeing and prosperity. 
  • There is strong recognition within the Forum that the future must be net-zero and nature-positive.
  • The Nature Action Agenda initiative, within the Platform for Accelerating Nature-based Solutions, is an inclusive, multi-stakeholder movement catalysing economic action to halt biodiversity loss by 2030.
  • The Future of Nature and Business report found that nature-positive transitions in key sectors are good for the economy and will create 395 million jobs by 2030.
  • To support these transitions, the Platform for Accelerating Nature-based Solutions has convened a community of Champions for Nature, promoting sustainable management of the planet for the good of the economy and society.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the above mentioned article are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)

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