The UN additionally just lately held the Food Systems Summit. While there’s an settlement that the international meals system is damaged, stakeholders are divided on tips on how to repair it. Has the summit made a distinction?
The summit introduced collectively all the totally different voices round meals manufacturing and consumption, so it wasn’t stunning to have dissenting views on the manner ahead. Still, the summit was very important and served to open up discussions on meals techniques. There’s been a recognition that meals techniques are failing individuals, with large points with starvation, inequality and entry to meals. They [food systems] are additionally failing the local weather, as they’re a major driver of local weather change and nature loss.
The summit occurred as the UN is quickly to host local weather and biodiversity talks. There’s a possibility to capitalise on the output of the meals summit, to encourage each UN discussions to take onboard targets and actions associated to the meals system. The disappointing factor is that this was a summit and never a decision-making occasion – not many choices got here out of it. Not many governments made a transparent hyperlink between meals, human well being and planetary well being. We should construct on this and proceed the dialog, growing widespread targets to be pursued by governments, companies and customers.
This week, governments will maintain the first half of the COP15 biodiversity talks, which is able to proceed subsequent yr in China. A draft settlement has already been shared to interchange the Aichi targets. What are your expectations of the upcoming negotiations?
There are some constructive developments in the draft in comparison with the Aichi targets. There’s a willingness to outline quantitative measurable targets in the new biodiversity framework, which is important contemplating that the solely Aichi goal that was delivered on was the one which had a numeral determine hooked up to it [protected areas]. Quantitative targets focus consideration and improve accountability. If it’s not measurable you may’t get it performed. The new draft has many more quantitative targets and that’s an excellent growth.
Still, a worldwide purpose for nature is lacking, a transparent vacation spot for all these efforts we’re planning to make. We have a transparent vacation spot for local weather: decarbonisation by 2050. You can develop pathways and a plan based mostly on that. We don’t have one thing like that on nature in the present draft, so we’re suggesting a sharper international purpose to be “Nature Positive by 2030” – that means that we now have to have more nature by the end of the decade [than in 2020], measured in phrases of species and ecosystems. Governments should decide to more fish, forests, pollinators and total biodiversity. It must be the new compass for nature.
Is there nonetheless time to introduce these modifications in the draft?
China will turn out to be the president of the CDB COP and can drive the negotiations ahead. There are nonetheless a number of months to repair the a number of gaps presently on the draft, the first one being the lack of a worldwide purpose for nature. This must be in the settlement. Then we additionally need more readability on manufacturing and consumption targets. This contains targets on agroecology, regenerative agriculture, sustainable fishing [and] sustainable infrastructure, one thing very related to China with the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). China has developed a inexperienced BRI and is taking steps in that path. We should inexperienced the key financial sectors which can be drivers of nature loss.
We are clear about the downside and the penalties for our society – the solely reply is to embark on a transition
There’s additionally the challenge of finance. This is about the funding for direct conservation efforts, with a spot of US$80–100 billion per yr [required] to assist growing nations to guard 30% of their land and ocean. This must be accompanied by redirecting all the dangerous subsidies which can be spent for agriculture, fisheries and forestry. This is cash that must be repurposed, as is going on now with fossil fuels subsidies going to renewable power. We should see the identical in these different sectors to make them nature constructive.
Latin American governments have referred to as for debt-for-nature or debt-for-climate swaps amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Can this mechanism be scaled up in a area with a excessive degree of money owed and a really important pure capital that’s presently endangered?
It’s an important device that must be thought-about. It’s one of the greatest instances in historical past for nations to embrace debt-for-nature swaps. The Covid-19 disaster has elevated sovereign money owed in all places, particularly in growing nations. We assist the concept of multiplying these schemes. There gained’t be swaps sufficient, so it must be carried out alongside different instruments, corresponding to the redirection of subsidies and sovereign inexperienced bonds. These can be utilized by governments to put money into transitions to nature-positive societies.
We are clear about the downside and know the penalties it’s inflicting to our financial system and society. The solely reply is to embark on a transition that doesn’t imply “stop developing”. It’s about rising wealth differently. A mix of innovation, know-how and particular person behavioural change might really ship that. That is going on on power however we additionally need to see it on meals, on agriculture, on fishing, and on the manner we use our sources. The world has to agree on the vacation spot and the plan to hold out that transition, not leaving anybody behind.
Latin America is a biodiversity superpower and depends on its pure capital for its financial growth. But the area’s biodiversity is severely endangered, as WWF’s Living Planet Report has highlighted. How can Latin America higher preserve its biodiversity whereas reaching a inexperienced restoration from the Covid-19 pandemic?
The financial worth of biodiversity is big. We should rediscover and account correctly for the worth of biodiversity. Almost half of the workforce in the world depends upon pure techniques, corresponding to [in] tourism and agriculture. We should protect that pure capital, which is producing a lot for the financial system, and restore what we are able to. The more we now have the more it can assist our economies. Doing which means stopping the loss of biodiversity by defending more of what’s left on the planet, and avoiding forest destruction and conversion, which additionally means altering the manner we produce meals – significantly in Latin America, as that is driving deforestation.