The One Planet Summit kick started the 2021 transformative year for humanity’s relation to nature & planet. It showed the growing mobilisation from Heads of States and main stakeholders towards an equitable, carbon neutral and nature positive world.
Following the UN Biodiversity Summit, held last September, the One Planet Summit’s ambition was to further build momentum for political mobilization through the set of international events leading up to COP15. By showing that it is possible to act for the preservation of the planet, it contributed to creating the conditions for an ambitious agreement to be adopted in Kunming this year.
“All our vulnerabilities are inextricably linked. We need to transform our development model.” Emmannuel Macron, President of France.
This event brought together heads of state and government as well as leaders of international organizations, financial institutions, the business sector and NGOs, all ready to make commitments for concrete action to preserve and restore biodiversity, to make strong new announcements and to launch transformational initiatives for nature.
“To build a shared future we must work together, quickly. Biodiversity is a planetary challenge calling for an international response.” HAN Zheng, First Vice-Prime Minister, People’s Republic of China.
Four key themes for the preservation of life have been chosen:
The protection of terrestrial and marine ecosystems is an essential pillar of action in favour of biodiversity. Protected areas, and the conservation of the species that live there, play a key role in the protection and restoration of biodiversity and will be a determining factor in achieving a reversal of the current trend.
France and Costa Rica launched the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, which aims to create the conditions for the adoption of an ambitious nature protection target by the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity at the end of the year. To date, these efforts have brought 52 States behind the Coalition, committing to work for the protection of 30% of terrestrial and marine spaces by 2030.
“The goal of shifting of our public investment to reach at least 30% of it directed towards biodiversity and nature-based solutions towards 2030 is set.” Emmanuel Macron, President of France.
The promotion of agro-ecology makes it possible to protect the diversity of ecosystems by reducing pollution while allowing more job creation and acting for food security.
Acknowledging that agroecology helps preserve biodiversity while addressing the Sustainable Development Goals and creating jobs, this One Planet Summit decided to make it a key aspect of international efforts. This issue is particularly important in Africa, where the effects of climate change, land degradation and biodiversity loss are combining and threaten many countries’ food security.
As such, a programme has been established, called the “Great Green Wall Accelerator” (GGW Accelerator). This multi-stakeholder initiative aims to catalyse financial efforts by all donors, giving new impetus to this ambitious African initiative, launched in the 1980s, to green the Sahel. The initiative’s partners have pledged almost €14 billion ($16.85 billion) in international finance for the 11 countries concerned by 2025. Some $14.3 billion has already been budgeted. The President of the European Commission announced that it could contribute more than €2.5 billion in its upcoming programming that is being prepared. More than a hundred private companies, grouped around the IAM AFRICA (International Agroecological Movement for Africa) charter, have also committed to contribute to the implementation of agroecological transition objectives in the Great Green Wall countries. A secretariat, attached to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), has been created to follow up on these commitments.
“Our responsibility as leaders not only resides with those who are going to be born. It resides with the whole history of humanity and its future. […] It is time to act with bravery!” Carlos Alvarado Quesada, President of Costa Rica.
The mobilization of funding for biodiversity is committed, particularly with new commitments of innovative funding and initiatives to direct more public and private investment towards projects for the protection, sustainable management and restoration of ecosystems or the necessary convergence of public funding for climate and biodiversity.
“It’s our duty to ensure our single market does not drive deforestation in other parts of the world. We will lead by ambition and action at home, and do everything we can to bring partners on board.” Ursula Van Der Leyen, President of the EU Commission.
Finally, the link between deforestation, species and human health is in the spotlight. The summit made it possible to work better together to prevent future pandemics, through the fight against deforestation and the prevention of risks related to our contact with wild species.
France launched the PREZODE (Preventing Zoonotic Diseases Emergence) initiative that will set up a ground-breaking worldwide cooperation between research stakeholders and sanitary vigilance networks, supported by FAO, to prevent new zoonotic-based pandemics.
By showing that action for the preservation of the planet is possible, we helped create the conditions for an ambitious agreement in Kunming. The IUCN World Conservation Congress which will be held in Marseille in September will keep this momentum going.
“We have beefed up the legal framework to combat deforestation setting a Forestry Charter to guarantee that local communities & shareholders have the right to access forest, to scale back poverty & ensure long term management.” Felix Tshisekedi, Democratic Republic of Congo President.
The Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework – EU support facilitated, promoted and amplify the voices of key partners and stakeholders over the summit aiming to push for an ambitious and transformative post 2020 global biodiversity framework, as part of a whole-of-society mobilization in the run-up to COP15 in 2021.