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High-Level Opening Session

Day 1 - 24 November

14:00 - 14:55 CET

 

Trends in natural capital erosion can profoundly affect the resilience of our societies, with biodiversity loss among the top global risks. As the international community strives to develop the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), to be agreed upon at COP15, as well as preparing for the landmark conference of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change at COP26, the Forum focused on “Securing natural capital: Resilience, risk management and Covid-19”.

The Forum explored the challenges for the agriculture and fisheries sectors in achieving  the SDGs, the progress towards securing life on land (SDG 14) and under water (SDG 15), how to better mobilise finance for biodiversity and how nature-based solutions can help to improve the resilience of our societies against the impact of climate change.  All these were put in the context of how to orchestrate a “green recovery” from this crisis.

Welcome remark

Moderator

Scene-setting presentation: The Economics of Biodiversity

  • Partha DASGUPTA, Emeritus Professor, Frank Ramsey Professor Emeritus of Economics, Cambridge University, United Kingdom.

Keynote addresses: Country perspectives

  • Bérangère ABBA, Secretary of State for Biodiversity, Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition, France.
  • LIU Ning, Deputy Director-General & Chief Negotiator for Convention on Biological Diversity, Ministry of Ecology and Environment, People’s Republic of China. Keynote speech

Keynote address: Securing natural capital - Sustainable agriculture

  • Louise O. FRESCO, President Executive Board Wageningen University & Research, strategic advisory board of the FAO.

Session 1 - Securing natural capital on land

Day 1 - 24 November

15:05 - 16:15 CET

A transformative change in land use is needed to end hunger (SDG 2), ensure clean water for all (SDG 6), mitigate greenhouse gas emissions (SDG 13), and protect life on land (SDG 15).  Furthermore, the homogeneity of farmed crops and animal varieties increases the vulnerability of our food systems to shocks, such as new pathogens and invasive species imported through international trade.  Human encroachment into natural habitats and the competition among different land uses are expected to increase due to world population growth, urbanisation, and changing consumption and dietary patterns. This session discussed the policies, business practices, and political economy challenges to ensure a more sustainable use of natural capital on land. How can land use planning, payment for ecosystem services, sustainable agriculture, forestry, and other policy measures help to manage the synergies and trade-offs among competing land uses? The sudden outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic also created additional stress on the global food system, requiring interventions by policy makers to guarantee the continued functioning of supply chains and to ensure access to food for vulnerable consumers. What are the distributional implications of such policies? The session also explored the role of new technologies in addressing these long-standing challenges.

Moderator

  • Alon ZASK, Senior Deputy Director General for Natural Resources, Ministry of Environmental Protection, Israel; Co-chair of OECD Working Party on biodiversity, water and ecosystems (WPBWE).

Scene-setter

  • Anne LARIGAUDERIE, Executive Secretary, Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

Panellists

  • Julien HARDELIN, Head, Office of Foresight and Strategy, French Ministry of Agriculture; Delegate of OECD Joint Working Party on Agriculture.
  • Janet WILLIAMS, Head of Regulatory Science (UK & Ireland), Bayer Crop Science.
  • Robin NAIDOO, Senior Conservation Scientist, World Wildlife Fund.
  • Peter VAN BODEGOM, Professor of Environmental Biology, Leiden University.

Policy questions

  • How can the food system meet its triple challenge of ensuring food security, providing livelihoods to farmers, and ensuring environmental sustainability? What are the main progresses and key outstanding challenges?
  • How can government strengthen the coherence between policies for natural capital and land use sectors (e.g. forestry, agriculture), and policies for biodiversity conservation and climate action?
  • How can science and innovation contribute to sustainable land use? How can new data sources and open science speed up innovation and adoption of sustainable land-use practices?
  • To what extent have the Covid-19 health and economic crises influenced the policy debate on biodiversity and natural capital protection?

Session 2 - Securing ocean-based natural capital

Day 2 - 25 November

14:00 - 15:10 CET

The ocean economy spans across multiple sectors – including fishing, aquaculture, tourism, transport and extractives – and is valued at USD 1.5 trillion. Yet, marine and coastal ecosystems also provide invaluable – and in most cases under-recognised– services, such as climate regulation, pollution control, storm protection, shoreline stabilisation, and habitats for species, all of which are under severe pressure from economic activities. In addressing the economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, governments need to discourage practices that could further undermine the sustainability of the ocean economy, such as overfishing, uncontrolled development of coastal zones, and pollution. This session focused on best practices, opportunities, and challenges for the greening of the ocean economy. The session discussed the role of an integrated approach to ocean management, such as Integrated Coastal Zone Management or Marine Spatial Planning, to ensure that multiple uses of the ocean are well aligned with the SDGs. How can marine protected areas ensure the sustainable use of marine resources? The debate also discussed the distributional impact of necessary policy reforms, how these could be addressed, and the role of new technologies for sustainable ocean use in the context of the upcoming UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).

Moderator

  • Don SYME, Counsellor, Primary Industries-Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, New Zealand; Chair of the OECD Fisheries committee.

Scene-setter

  • Russell REICHELT, Australian Sherpa on the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy; Board member of the Climate Change Authority.

Panellists

  • Céline FRANK, Policy Officer, Blue Economy Sectors, Aquaculture and Maritime Spatial Planning, DG MARE, European Commission.
  • Ariel TROISI, Chairperson at Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO.

Policy questions

  • How do challenges and opportunities for sustainable ocean management vary across sectors that rely on ocean-based natural capital? How can policy coherence across the different ocean uses be improved?
  • What is the contribution of the ocean to human well-being? What is the relationship between sustainable ocean resources management and climate change mitigation and adaptation?
  • How can new technologies support sustainable ocean management? What barriers could hinder their transfer internationally, including to developing countries?
  • Are there any trade-offs between economic growth and sustainable ocean management? Do polices aimed at conserving and sustainably using ocean-based natural capital create winners and losers? How can these be managed?

Session 3 - Financing for natural capital

Day 2 - 25 November

 

15:20 - 16:30 CET

Financial flows (both public and private) need to be diverted from unsustainable to “biodiversity-compatible” economic activities in order to achieve the SDG targets on biodiversity and increase the resilience of our societies. However, progress in integrating biodiversity in investment decisions, through practices such as impacts and dependencies assessment, risk management, due diligence, and risk disclosure remains limited. This session reflected on the global biodiversity finance flows, data gaps in biodiversity finance reporting, and how to scale up public and private finance for biodiversity and other natural capital. The debate also explored the role of public and private initiatives to improve disclosure of biodiversity risk, and the role of multilateral development cooperation institutions and financial supervisors in mobilising private investments.

Moderator

  • Alexander BASSEN, Professor & Chair of Capital Markets and Management, University of Hamburg; Member of the German Council for Sustainable Development.

Scene-setter

  • Katia KAROUSAKIS, Biodiversity Programme Leader, Climate, Biodiversity and Water Division, Environment Directorate, OECD.

Panellists

Policy questions

  • How can governments and multilateral financing institutions contribute to scaling up natural capital and biodiversity finance? What is the role of national taxonomies on sustainable finance? Is there a need for harmonisation across the national taxonomies?
  • What opportunities do the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and natural resources generate for the financial sector?  What are the financial and non-financial risks associated with unsustainable practices?
  • What governance, risk management, and due diligence practices can ensure that the impacts and risks connected to natural capital and biodiversity loss are successfully integrated in investment decisions?
  • What data gaps and inconsistencies exist in public and private biodiversity finance reporting and tracking?

Session 4 - Measuring natural capital and biodiversity

Day 3 - 26 November

14:00 - 15:00 CET

This session focused on the recent areas of progress, outstanding challenges and prospects for the natural capital and biodiversity measurement agenda in light of the targets to be agreed at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP15, which will take place in 2021. A key challenge for measuring natural capital is that a suite of indicators on the condition and extent of ecosystems is required (e.g. forest loss, number of threatened species), as opposed to climate change where the metrics are more easily measured. The recent development in the accounting for ecosystems, or natural capital, as part of the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) and the opportunities for, and outstanding barriers to, its widespread adoption were discussed. The session also explored how the use of earth observation and big data could help to better measure changes in natural capital. Furthermore, the session also discussed recent development in combining environmental data with socio-demographic data in the context of the strong emphasis of the UN Agenda 2030 on inclusiveness.

Moderator

  • Viveka PALM, Deputy Head, Regions and Environment at Statistics Sweden; Chair of the OECD Working Party on Environmental Information (WPEI).

Scene-setters

  • Paul EKINS, Professor, UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources, University College London (UCL); Co-Chair, GGKP Expert Working Group on Natural Capital. 
  • Carl OBST, Director, Institute for Development of Environmental-Economic Accounting (IDEEA), Melbourne, Australia.

Panellists

  • Joe GRICE, Chairman, UK Office for National Statistics Economic Experts.
  • Glenn-Marie LANGE, Senior Environmental Economist, World Bank.

Policy questions

  • What are the main challenges in measuring natural capital or ecosystem assets and services? How can new technologies, including big data and earth observation, help?
  • How can we further harmonise the measurement of natural capital and improve international comparability?
  • How can we showcase the value added of data on natural capital? How can we ensure that these data are used for evidence-based policy making and the monitoring of progress towards sustainable development, including SDGs and CBD objectives?

Session 5 -Addressing climate and biodiversity challenges:Nature-based solutions for risk management

Day 3 - 26 November

15:10 - 16:30 CET

The international community is increasingly recognising the potential of nature-based solutions to improve society’s resilience to the impacts of climate change, while maximising synergies between ecosystem stewardship and human well-being. For example, investing in the restoration of forests in upper catchment areas not only protects communities downstream from the risk of flooding; it can simultaneously increase carbon sequestration, while protecting species habitat. However, despite their recognised role and potential, the application of nature-based solutions continues to be limited in number and scale. Nature-based solutions can help to improve the resilience of our society to the impact of climate change, such as more intense rainfall, wildfires or heat waves, while simultaneously protecting biodiversity as well as mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. This session discussed technical, institutional, and financial barriers to the adoption of nature-based solutions for climate change mitigation and adaptation, such as a perception of being “emerging technologies”. Options on how to improve the coherence between disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation policies, especially in relation to infrastructure planning, were also discussed.

Moderator

  • Sandy SHEARD, Deputy Director and Head of the Dasgupta Review Team, HM Treasury, United Kingdom.

Scene-setter

  • Valerie KAPOS, Head of Programme, Climate Change & Biodiversity at UNEP-WCMC.

Panellists

  • Tiago OLIVEIRA, Director, Agency Integrated Management of Rural Fires (AGIF), Portugal.
  • Basile VAN HAVRE, Co-Chair, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)'s Post-2020 Open-Ended Working Group, Canada.
  • Cristina RODRÍGUEZ, Director, Climate Change Adaptation and Desertification, Ministry for Environment, Peru.
  • Stewart MAGINNIS, Global Director, Nature-based Solutions Group, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Policy questions

  • Where and how can nature-based solutions (NbS) complement traditional “grey” infrastructure? What key benefits and challenges characterise NbS compared to “grey” infrastructure, including for the firms that are ultimately tasked with building the planned infrastructure?
  • What role do national and subnational governments play in facilitating a larger use of NbS? How could NbS be effectively promoted as part of countries’ COVID-19 recovery efforts and contribute to an inclusive green transition, including for local and indigenous communities?
  • How can we ensure that NbS contribute to achieving the multiple objectives of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development?
  • What role do NbS play in climate mitigation and adaption in cities, and what barriers exist to scale up their use?

Closing Remarks

Day 3 - November 26

GGSD2020 Mountains and mist

16:25 - 16:30 CET

The Forum's key findings, identified knowledge gaps and future areas of work for the OECD will be provided by Mr. Masamichi Kono, Deputy Secretary-General, OECD