The drivers of biodiversity loss often come down to economic and market forces. Our current economic system favors short-term gain over long-term stewardship of assets, including nature. This set of sessions identifies opportunities to better align global and national goals to protect, restore and sustainably manage nature, with goals for sustainable economic development. This session also calls upon the financial and business sector to disrupt business-as-usual by placing nature at the center of decision-making, and lays out the path forward to achieving a transformational economy for a better, greener, more just future.
This second day of the Hub called upon the financial and business sector to disrupt business-as-usual finance practices by placing nature at the center of decision-making. The sessions charted the way forward towards transforming the economy for a better future.
Over the first session Business and Finance for Nature, a power panel of CEOs demonstrated their momentum and policy ambition for nature: transforming nature-destructive industries into nature-positive ones.
“There is a plan A: we need to reverse this trend. There is no plan B. We cannot run a business on a dead planet!” Roberto Marques, CEO of Natura & Co
They presented how business and finance action can be accelerated through collective action via the “Nature is Everyone’s business” Call to Action and the Finance for Biodiversity Pledge that encourage world leaders and financial institutions to strive for an ambitious Post-2020-Biodiversity Framework. By disrupting business-as-usual, business and finance can invest in a new nature economy, reap long-term benefits and reduce their underlying risks associated with nature loss.
“Businesses need to identify which parts of their business connect with nature loss. If businesses came together to lobby against nature loss, we would be well on our way to being nature positive by 2030.” Akanksha Khatri, World Economic Forum
The second session Transforming Finance for Nature strengthened the momentum achieved in collaboration with financial institutions and governments on the Taskforce on Nature Related Financial Disclosure (TNFD), which will launch in 2021. The TNFD Informal Working Group (IWG) is already in place with over 20 members from financial institutions and growing. The IWG is currently defining its workplan and determining the key technical aspects needed to inform the development for the TNFD. This session was a critical opportunity to draw on technical expertise from central banks, data providers, biodiversity experts and scientists on:
- the risks and opportunities for financial institutions of addressing or not addressing biodiversity risks, and understanding impacts and dependencies on nature,
- requirements to effectively create material risks for the destruction of biodiversity,
- ensuring relevance and utility of the TNFD framework for regulatory bodies
- inputs and perspectives from civil society.
The session Nature Rules: A New Accord with Nature focused on exploring how policies, human rights approaches and legal incentives can accelerate action on nature and drive ambition by creating a level playing field, a stable operating environment and unlocking new opportunities. It brought attention to the major opportunities for strengthening the synergy between the constituencies of business and finance, rule of law, human rights and biodiversity conservation. During the session, the pathways to achieve a new accord with nature were highlighted. Nature underpins the Sustainable Development Goals. Forests, oceans and agricultural lands sustain more than 2.5 billion people. Yet, today, one million species are threatened with extinction in the next few decades.
“Poverty reduction and biodiversity conservation are two sides of the same coin.” Anthony Nyong, African Development Bank.
The last session on Innovations in Private Finance for Nature’s Missing Middle explored the challenges and opportunities for financing SMEs within the broad scope of nature-based solutions and showcased examples of specific nature-based projects that have been financed through pioneering risk-mitigating instruments. In light of these examples, it reviewed the main opportunities and challenges in financing the missing middle, nature-based businesses.