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Road to Kunming: Economics and Finance for Biodiversity


The development objective of this activity is to raise awareness among staff in ministries of finance and other sector ministries of WB client countries and among international financial sector stakeholders of the importance and opportunity of investing in biodiversity and ecosystem services sustainable management.


Biodiversity and ecosystems are being lost at an alarming rate. The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), recently warned that the health of ecosystems on which humans and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. Around 1 million animal and plant species (out of an estimated 8 million in total) are now threatened with extinction, many within decades. This is more than ever before in human history.
This will eventually translate in impacts to economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide. Current negative trends in biodiversity and ecosystems will undermine progress towards 80 percent (35 out of 44) of the assessed targets of the Sustainable Development Goals, related to poverty, hunger, health, water, cities, climate, oceans and land (SDGs 1, 2, 3, 6, 11, 13, 14 and 15). Loss of biodiversity has therefore shown to be not only an environmental issue, but also a developmental, economic, security, social and moral one.
The process for a post-2020 global biodiversity framework, under the auspices of the CBD, is now underway. In 2020 the CBD will adopt a post-2020 global biodiversity framework, post-2020 framework for short, as a stepping stone towards the 2050 Vision of "Living in harmony with nature".
A successful post-2020 global biodiversity framework will require doing things differently. Transformative action slowing down the rate of biodiversity loss will require a shift in production and consumption patterns. It will also call for adopting an ecosystem lens when planning infrastructure, and adaptation to climate change. While the public sector has historically played and continue to play a major role in conservation, the bulk of the actions going forward will need to come from the private sector. Private sector behavior will shift as a result of: (i) changing market preferences, and (ii) public policies that bring materiality to biodiversity considerations in private sector decisions. The latter will include a mix of: (a) regulatory instruments; (b) pricing instruments and market-based instruments; (c) information instruments. In addition, it will require public finance and public investments to be designed in a way compatible with Nature. These in turn will require the engagement of high-level decision makers including in Ministries of Finance, Planning and Central Banks.
This activity feeds into the broader objective of the Knowledge Product “The Road to Kunming” (P170709) which aims to (i) inform the World Bank’s efforts to integrate biodiversity and ecosystem services in its analytic and operation work; (ii) support CBD parties in the preparation of a post-2020 global biodiversity framework; and (iii) harness the interest of decision makers, including Ministries of Finance, of CBD parties, G7 countries and G20 countries.


Task 1. Event on “Invet in Nature” at IMF-WBG Annual Meetings 2019.
The World Bank and IMF Annual and Spring Meetings will serve as a key moment to engage Ministers of Finance in discussing the relevance of biodiversity and ecosystem services to development. Under the KP, an event titled “Invest in Nature: Uncovering the Hidden Value of Biodiversity” will be organized as part of the October 2019 IMF-WBG Annual Meetings. The event will highlight the intrinsic value of nature to economies, people and the planet and underscore the urgency for action to preserve this natural capital via a compelling presentation from the scientist that has led the latest IPBES global assessment. It will also provide an opportunity for innovators to showcase “Green and Blue” solutions to address the biodiversity crisis and create momentum ahead of the CBD COP 15 in China. A high-level panel will round out the event.
Task 2. China-WB workshop on “Maximizing private finance for biodiversity and ecosystem services”.
With the goal of informing the post-2020 process, including the thematic consultation on resource mobilization, with particular emphasis on the role of the private sector and the role of financial sector policies, a workshop will be co-organized by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment of China and the World Bank on this topic. The workshop will be in the form of an invitation only event and it will bring together a selected number of CBD parties, top thinkers and key stakeholders from China and the international community including from the public sector, private sector, financial sector, think tanks, NGOs and academia to assess lessons learned, analyze bottlenecks and identify opportunities for increasing the effectiveness of scarce public sector finance to leverage better biodiversity outcomes.
The workshop will aim at identifying what policy reforms are most needed to maximize private conservation finance. Two key set of policies exist: (i) real sector policies (e.g. fiscal, command and control, market creation, governance, trade); (ii) financial sector policies. The workshop will hinge particularly on financial sector policies. Financial regulators, the banking sector and investors around the world are increasingly developing instruments to take into account the risks associated with poor environmental performance. Going forward the tools need to be broadened to take into consideration the positive impacts investments in nature could have, shifting the focus away from traditional “green washing” and towards “real impacts”. In this context, key enabling factors are the capacity to measure impact through private sector level accounting (e.g. Natural Capital Protocol) and national level natural capital accounting.


Event on “Invest in Nature” at IMF-WBG Annual Meetings 2019. The event was attended in person by ~200 people in the room, including ministers, international organizations and Bank leadership, and online by 575 people (of which 41.3 percent women). Most people who engaged online were 25-34 years old. Almost 18,000 people visited the event page. The event was the fourth most livestreamed event at the 2019 Annual Meetings (out of 19 livestreamed events). The event hashtag #InvestInNature reached more than 5 million Twitter users, generating 23.5 million impressions worldwide, and trending in DC area during the live event. On live engagement/comments, the event was rated 2nd out of 19 live-streamed events. Online, the event attracted strong engagement from key influencers, including Alok Sharna, UK, Zac Goldsmith, UK, Inger Andersen, UN Environment, IPBES, CBD. 

China-WB workshop on “Maximizing private finance for biodiversity and ecosystem services”. Over the course of the two days, the workshop was attended by 67 (of which 26 women) representatives of the Chinese Government, notably from the Ministry of Finance and the MEE, and several other CBD Parties and the Secretariat, the European Commission, the financial sector, multilateral and bilateral development agencies, NGOs and academic experts. The workshop was attended at high level with two Director Generals (from Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Ecology and Environment). On the World Bank side, the event was attended by the ENB Global Director and by the EAP Regional Director.  

It had been envisaged that the activities would contribute to inform the preparation of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework and in particular the policy mainstreaming and the resource mobilization dimensions of the framework. Through the dialogue in these activities the team was able to inform the preparation of the zero draft of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. The participation of the UK at the Annual Meetings event was instrumental in engaging with that country on follow up action such as a possible collaboration with DEFRA on ecosystem policy modelling. On the finance side, the activity allowed to inform the work of the expert panel on resource mobilization for the post-2020 framework. 


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Last Updated : 06-09-2020