Post 2020 Local and Subnational Government Information #22 – What’s business doing for biodiversity?

Rebalancing our economy with nature!
This webinar unpacked what the business sectors is doing for nature and how these actions can benefit local action for biodiversity. As part of this discussion, the webinar also provided a recap of SBI-3 informal sessions and updated participants on the post-2020 roadmap to CBD COP 15.

Invited panelists included:

  • Peter White, Vice Chair of the Gold Standard Foundation, Former ambassador for Biodiversity at WBCSD
  • Martin Lok, Executive Director of the Natural Capital Coalition
  • Justin Smith, Head of Business Development WWF South Africa

On the roadmap to CBD COP 15, recent highlighted achievements included the presentation of the CBD/SBI/3/19 document on Engagement with Subnational Governments, Cities and Other Local Authorities to Enhance the Implementation of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework at the Informal Session of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI-3) on 11 March. The document introduced by the UK and the EU read by Portugal, Mexico and Singapore were among the Parties that made supportive statements to the call for a renewed decision and more ambitious Plan of Action on subnational & local governments. Participants were also invited to attend the following coming events:

  • the Post 2020 Biodiversity Framework – EU support webinar Transforming agri-food systems for biodiversity on 13 April 2021
  • ICLEI Congress’ high-level virtual dialogue on ‘Engaging Cities and Regions in the Global Nature Agenda’ on 14 April 2021
  • IUCN Global Youth Summit from 5 to 16 April 2021
  • Vertical Dialogues in selected partner countries in May & June 2021

“Nature is everybody’s business. The interest from the business community has never been this high and the concern over the state of nature has never been so serious. We need clarity as to who need to do what with global, national and local targets.” Peter White, Vice Chair of the Gold Standard Foundation, Former ambassador for Biodiversity at WBCSD

Panelists then provided strategic recommendations as how the business sector and local and subnational governments could further engage together and work hand-in-hand for nature.

As highlighted by the Gold Standard Foundation, local and subnational governments have many assets to optimize the potential of their collaboration. Those leverages include the ability to organize their joint dialogue creating a space for all stakeholders to discuss around the value of nature in their specific area or region in a more tangible fashion. Second, local and subnational governments have the ability to redefine what is success drifting apart from GDP measurement and short term benefits considerations to push business model towards integrating natural capital relevant data. Last but not least, they can change the rules of the game to reward action for nature through dedicated regulations.

The business community talks in terms of capital, as a stock of money. Using the same terminology for nature – as a stock you invest in – helps. Natural capital also embodies value. Mainstreaming is all about getting an agreement on the value of nature among people.Martin Lok, Executive Director of the Natural Capital Coalition

In return, business have the ability to act for nature through three powerful channels. They can manage their own operations and supply chains to be nature positive not causing harm to biodiversity. Companies can also collaborate across ecosystems and landscapes levels to better conserve and sustainably use nature. Finally they can systemically integrate the value of nature is in the decision making process at all levels. Encouraging first steps have been observed in that direction as enterprise risks management start incorporating nature impact in business investment decisions supported through initiatives such as the We value nature program.

Yet, biodiversity mainstreaming is not only across sector but also across conventions – and particularly UNFCCC and UNCCD – and people. WWF South Africa stressed indeed that from developing countries’ perspective, there is a challenge around building capacity bringing skills and information to formulate solutions for developing economies where business role is instrumental. And equally, looking for environmental and social benefits for people is critical for business in building credibility and supporting their operations. Business can no longer ignore value chains impact on nature, as their ability to prioritize engagement across those value chains has turned critical for our planet.

Governments are critical to mainstream biodiversity in business decision-making. We need civil society working with business and government to develop solutions together across the value chains.Justin Smith, Head of Business Development WWF South Africa

The webinar on Biodiversity mainstreaming organized on 6-7 April by the Post 2020 Biodiversity Framework – EU support project and IDDRI shall bring on that biodiversity mainstreaming momentum across local, subnational and national governments and business.

Read our publications “No business on a dead planet: why adopting an ambitious post 2020 global biodiversity framework makes economic sense?” and Can we halt biodiversity loss under the economic growth paradigm?”

With the support of the Post 20202 Biodiversity Framework.EU support project, ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center holds monthly webinars to keep the local and subnational government constituency, networks, and partners up to date on key milestones and the participatory preparation process of the Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework on the roadmap to COP 15.

Register now to the coming webinars by clicking here : 

  • 6 May 2021
  • 3 June 2021
  • 1 July 2021

Watch ICLEI’s Post 2020 webinars here

Check ICLEI’s Local and Subnational Engagement Platform here

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