This outreach programme is inclusively designed to support mutual understanding and cultural exchanges between European and Indian civil society, in its broadest sense: citizens, creators, think tanks, academia, private sector etc., on the topic of Nature and its many intricate links to human wellbeing. By showing that biodiversity and its loss are directly impacting human activities, health and our resilience, Lead the Green Change sets itself at the crossroad of bilateral relations, mobilization and awareness around two main focuses:
- The pragmatic, collective, socio-economic benefits of protecting, valuing and restoring biodiversity in land use and coastal areas, green infrastructures and nature based solutions.
- The personal, intimate, cultural and emotional relationship many of us feel with “Mother Nature”, and the amenity/well-being benefits of being an active part of those solutions.
“Biodiversity is a core priority of the EU’s external action: European Union is ready to show high ambition to halt and where possible reverse biodiversity loss, to lead the world by example and by action.” Michael Bucki, Counsellor, Head of Section. Delegation of the EU to India
Lead the Green Change launched in April 2021, coinciding with the acceleration of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework’s process, and ahead of significant global milestones (including International Day for Biodiversity, World Environment Day). Biodiversity means LIFE covers many aspects of Nature and People’s relationship:
- Biodiversity means CLIMATE – Green is good to curb emissions and boos resilience
- Biodiversity means SAFE – Green is good to protect and restore health
- Biodiversity means BUSINESS – Green is good for creating jobs and attracting investment
Further, Lead the Green Change will implement a large communications strategy conveying positive narratives, stories and commitments to action for Nature.
- Delegation of the European Union to India
- Business Support to the EU-India Policy
- The Economics of Ecosystems & Biodiversity
- Global Business Inroads
- CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development
- CMS (Centre for Media Studies)
- Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework – EU Support
The initiative started with a “Biodiversity means Business: Industry” webinar, which gathered over 60 representatives from companies, investors, international cooperation and business associations to underline the contributions of biodiversity and ecosystems services across value chains and sectors.
It was followed-up with a “Biodiversity means Business: Partnerships” event, expanding the focus to highlight how cooperation between public and private actors can contribute to the emergence of biodiversity-positive, scalable and profitable projects. It featured both a conference and a virtual exhibition booth showcasing concrete examples of these solutions.
“Biodiversity means Health: from Viruses to Vultures” looked into the intricate links between nature and emerging infectious diseases, medicines and presented a holistic approach to sustainably managing biodiversity for health and well-being.
Another webinar entitled “Biodiversity means Oceans” organized in cooperation with the French Embassy in India explored a path to transforming marine and coastal biodiversity governance. It presented leading examples and potential synergies to address the loss of marine biodiversity using several solutions (marine protected areas, OECMs, sustainable production and consumption etc.).
For International Youth Day (August 12th), Lead the Green organized a session on “Biodiversity means Transition”. The event explored best cases for a just, equitable and green recovery, focusing on a multi-actor approach to the post-COVID19 world. Drawing from lessons from the Indian recovery package and the EU Green Deal, “Biodiversity means Transition” identified multiple spaces for convergence, mutual support and progress in reaching transformative change for Nature and People.
On the topic of transformation and cross-sector action, “Biodiversity means Landscapes” was held on August 18th, in cooperation with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)‘s India office. The sustainability of agri-spaces and their management was approached as a key enabler of both nature and human wellbeing. The session included a presentation on tools to assess agriculture and landscape health, and showcased initiatives such as the EU “Farm to Fork Strategy” and IUCN’s “Common Ground” dialogues.
“Companies have the capability to co-create highly scalable biodiversity projects. For this to happen in India, they need to find a welcoming ecosystem that allows them to focus on the task at hand.” Adil Hussain, actor
The initiative further added to its objective of fostering meaningful stakeholder engagement beyond the biodiversity community by partnering up with the Indian Youth Biodiversity Network (IYBN – GYBN’s national branch) for a “Biodiversity is Youth” webinar. The event delved into multiple topics including conservation, urban youth action, marine biodiversity, or the role of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLCs) and women in transformative biodiversity governance. This demonstrated that, beyond the sole inclusion imperative, young Indian activists have the expertise, the know-how and the capacity to lead the change and offer actionable solution in a wide range of issues. More particularly, “Biodiversity is Youth” welcomed contributors to the environmental news outlet Mongabay for a discussion on guidelines to creating and disseminating powerful online content, and promoted the Youth Manifesto and #StoptheSame campaign as some of these campaigns. The IYBN moderated the thematic conversation, encapsulating the key youth demands for nature, equity and stakeholder participation.
“Biodiversity is youth and youth need to know it” Priyansh Shrivastava, Indian Youth Biodiversity Network
It was also the occasion for Lead the Green Change to launch its official biodiversity anthem, composed by Grammy Award winner Ricky Kej. The song – a “tribute to the natural wonders of […] India” – calls for more awareness and recognition of the role biodiversity plays in all aspects of human well-being, and for the mobilisation of all to protect, respect and sustainably use ecosystems, in India and around the world. The Biodiversity Anthem wraps us the Lead the Green Change campaign, as a culminating moment in its outreach throughout India.
Listen to the Biodiversity Anthem here:
Lead the Green Change has been holding activities throughout the preparatory process to CBD COP15 and offering various formats, facilities and tools to engage with stakeholders willing to promote high ambition and transformative change for biodiversity.
Learn more about the Lead the Green Change initiative here.