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Episode 26: Social Impact Special on Understanding Biodiversity

Today, I will be covering a brief overview of the Biodiversity Ecosystem. In this educational video/podcast, you will know the origins of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the risks facing the global environment landscape, and the social and economic importance of nature-based systems. It’s prudent to know about the Strategic Plan for biodiversity from 2011 to 2020 with a peek at the Global Status of Aichi Biodiversity Goals. The module focuses on the financial tools & metrics to achieve biodiversity goals with a brief overview of Sustainable Finance as an enabler.

Convention of Biological Diversity CBD

CBD is the apex body overlooking the biodiversity sector enabling social change and impact within biological diversity ecosystem globally. CBD was formed in 1992 during the Foundation United Nations Conference on Environment and Development also known as the Rio “Earth Summit”. An international legal instrument, CBD’s mandate is to drive the Global Framework of Biodiversity. Today 194 countries have ratified the agreement. The mission of CBD is to Encourage actions that lead to a Sustainable Future, its governing body termed COP or Conference of Parties, CBD has authority over all the signatories.

So, what do we mean by Biodiversity?

In a broader sense Convention on Biological Diversity represents a dramatic step forward in the Conservation of biological diversity, the Sustainable use of its components, and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources.”

The areas under biodiversity are broad- divided into Ecosystems, Species, and Genetic Resources. It operates in all these domains and much more. The convention of Biological Diversity is under the umbrella of the United Nations Environment Program. Listed names of some important actors/entities and initiatives within this space. Example of few entities/actors within this space are as follows. The Nature Conservancy is the largest environmental nonprofit in the world with World Wide Fund for Nature dominating conservation of natural habitat. ICMA is the driver of sustainable bonds principles, Iceberg Data Lab is one of the drivers of metrics for estimating Biodiversity footprint.

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Why is preserving, nurturing, and enhancing Biodiversity so important? To begin with we have a looming Global Environmental Crisis. According to a report, the natural ecosystem has declined by 47 percent from the earliest recorded state. According to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), human actions have significantly altered the natural environment. About 75 percent of the land-based environment and roughly 66 percent of the marine environment. With one million species under threat of extinction, the loss of biodiversity has a significant impact on the wellbeing and wellness of society. To top it all, The Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) estimates annual funding needs between $150 billion to $440 billion but $52 billion is spent per year. This translates into a gap of $98 billion to $388 billion per year. Further, WEF estimates more than half of the world’s GDP is exposed to the risk of nature loss. Nature-Based Solutions and Transitions not only solves the equation of ecological imbalances enabling sustainable wellbeing for everyone but also have significant quantifiable achievements. Business for Nature and ICC estimates nature-based transitions will lead to $10 trillion in the business opportunity, generating 395 million jobs by 2030. For countries example India where a majority of jobs are in the unorganized sector, nature-based solutions are a panacea for enabling social change and impact for the less privileged people of the society. Nature Based Solutions can lead to one third of the net reductions in greenhouse gas emissions required to meet the Paris Agreement’s goals based on the Global Biodiversity Outlook 5.

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