Biological diversity celebrates its 3.7 billionth birthday this year. From common ancestors, all forms of life sprang up from a few grams of the same chemical building blocks. But “biodiversity” as a word is only 35 years’ old this year having been coined by E.O. Wilson and other ecologists in 1985. The term “biodiversity” is now co-owned by scientists, politicians, philanthropists and civil society – but has only recently become a priority of the corporate sector and private investors.
Biodiversity is a bit nebulous. Few convincing answers are evident for the commercial world on questions such as: what are the most important assets of biodiversity and what is the return on investment in biodiversity? At the same time, businesses do understand emerging risks and liabilities if biodiversity is ignored. We have not adequately answered the related question on how can business and biodiversity mutually benefit each other? Resilient Landscapes seeks to answer that question in agricultural and forest landscapes through engaging with interested private sector and investment actors.
Today, agriculture accounts for 70% of the projected loss of terrestrial biodiversity. It contributes to 50% of the topsoil lost. We use 40% of Earth’s land surface to produce food, making it the single largest cause of deforestation, habitat and biodiversity loss. Yet with the world’s population rising, we will need to double food production by 2050. Given the arable land available, current “business as usual” models are insufficient.
At the same time, half of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), €40 trillion, depends on nature. The world already loses an estimated €5.5-10.5 trillion per year from land degradation and biodiversity loss further puts our food systems and nutrition at risk.
Addressing the current biodiversity crisis is crucial to planetary and ecological health. Preliminary research indicates that significant biodiversity loss results in a greater transmissibility of human diseases, which can be seen from a substantial increase in zoonosis, including SARS, Ebola, Lyme and COVID-19. In doing so, public-private partnerships will play a crucial role in supporting commitment to action toward financing biodiversity.
Furthermore, there is growing recognition that public funds are insufficient to reverse biodiversity loss. A report recently released by the Paulson Institute shows that the funding gap for biodiversity is $700 billion per year for the next decade. The financial sector has a critical role in addressing the global biodiversity crisis, while governments and regulators hold the key to harnessing the power of the financial sector to mobilize private finance at scale to protect nature.
Introduction & Welcome remarks: Leona Liu, Deputy-Director, Resilient Landscapes (03:00)
Keynote Address by Video: Prof. Thomas Lovejoy, University Professor of Environmental Science and Policy of George Mason University (02:17)
Keynote Address: Gonzalo Munoz, COP25 High-Level Champion – (03:00)
Panel One: Natural Capital Appreciation
Moderator Introductions: Christopher Knowles, Senior Advisor, Environment & Climate Finance
Resilient Landscapes (05:00)
Facilitated Panel: Supporting biodiversity and resilient landscapes through innovative finance mechanisms
1. Jaspreet Stamm, Director, Finance in Motion (05:00)
2. Andre van den Beld, Head Sustainability – Cocoa at Export Trading Group (ETG) (05:00)
3. Martin Geiger, Director Sustainability and Corporate Governance, DEG Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH (05:00)
4. Fabian Huwlyer, Founding Partner, Posaidon Capital(05:00)
Closing Remarks & Transition to Panel Two: Christopher Knowles, Senior Advisor, Environment & Climate Finance, Resilient Landscapes (03:00)
Panel Two: Supply Chains & Biodiversity in the post COVID-19 Era
Moderator Introductions: Howard-Yana Shapiro, Senior Advisor, Private Sector & Markets, Resilient Landscapes, Distinguished Senior Fellow, CIFOR-ICRAF (05:00)
Facilitated Panel: Biodiversity & Agricultural Landscapes
1. Jason Clay, Senior Vice President, Markets, Executive Director, Markets Institute, WWF (05:00)
Topics: 1. Nexus between biodiversity and resilient landscapes; 2. Improvement of certification through the new Agricultural Performance System
2. Susan Chomba, Project Manager, Regreening Africa, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) (05:00)
Topics: 1. Re-greening Africa and the new Agricultural Performance System; 2. Biodiversity & Resilient Landscapes
3. Mette Wilkie, Director, Forestry Division, FAO (05:00)
Topics: 1. Value of forests in terms of benefits to livelihoods; 2. FAO’s SOFO 2020 and the need for the call to action on biodiversity efforts
Closing remarks: Tony Simons, Director General, World Agroforestry (ICRAF) , Executive Director, CIFOR-ICRAF (05:00)