Geneva, 6 September 2023 - Today, 27 of the world’s largest nature conservation organizations, institutes, business and finance coalitions, including WBCSD, have come together to launch a new initiative aimed at driving alignment around the definition, integrity and use of the term ‘nature positive’ and supporting broader, longer-term efforts to deliver nature-positive outcomes.
‘Nature positive by 2030’ refers to halting and reversing biodiversity loss by 2030 from a 2020 baseline, through measurable gains in the health, abundance, diversity and resilience of species, ecosystems, and natural processes.
The newly-announced Nature Positive Initiative, which will open soon for more partners, represents the second phase of work that commenced in 2019, with the development of nature positive by 2030 as the global goal for nature - equivalent to the 1.5C goal that exists for climate.
Since then, governments, business and civil society have rallied behind the ambition inherent in a nature-positive approach. Calls for action have grown stronger, with reversing biodiversity loss recognized as critical to combating the global climate crisis, preventing future pandemics of zoonotic origin, addressing water and food insecurity, supporting sustainable and equitable development, and recognizing and addressing the rights and contributions of Indigenous Peoples. In December 2022, the goal of halting and reversing biodiversity loss by 2030 was codified in the mission of the landmark Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. Its adoption under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity has been described as the ‘Paris moment’ for nature.
At the same time, use of the term 'nature positive' has grown without a clear and aligned understanding among business, finance, government and civil society actors about what the phrase represents and does not represent. Ensuring clarity and preserving the integrity of the definition is now a priority to ensure the necessary actions and accountability.
The new initiative’s overall goal is to drive alignment and synergies across a multitude of actors who will advocate, support and implement actions towards a nature-positive outcome of halting and reversing nature loss by 2030.
Core work will include preserving the integrity of ‘nature positive’ as a measurable 2030 global goal for nature for businesses, financial institutions, governments at all levels, and other stakeholders. With nature-positive ambition already receiving strong support from first movers, a priority will be supporting the rollout of the common definition, metrics and standardized tools and practices that enable all to appropriately measure and report on their impact and contributions at the actor level.
The initiative will also advocate for and support the full implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework by governments and other stakeholders.
The organizations and coalitions launching the Nature Positive Initiative (NPI) include African Natural Capital Alliance, BirdLife International, Business for Nature, Campaign for Nature, Capitals Coalition, Conservation International, Global Commons Alliance, Global Reporting Initiative, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, Indigenous Information Network, IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), InTent, Nature Positive Universities / University of Oxford, Nature4Climate, NatureFinance, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Principles for Responsible Investment, Science Based Targets Network, Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures, The Nature Conservancy, The Climate Champions Team, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Wildlife Conservation Society, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas, World Resources Institute, and WWF International.
This core group of organizations will be tasked with setting the NPI’s strategic direction, policy positions, and joint activities. They will also be responsible for convening, liaising with, and coordinating the active engagement of a much broader and inclusive constituency of partner organizations to ensure all stakeholders’ views are considered and to help support efforts to deliver nature-positive outcomes across society.
A NPI Partnership will be launched in the coming weeks and will be open to all relevant institutions and organizations who want to support and implement the global goal for nature, by pledging their support. For further information on the Nature Positive Initiative, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, ahead of Climate Week New York, WBCSD will launch the first Roadmaps to Nature Positive, offering companies foundational guidance and support on their nature journeys across maturity levels. WBCSD worked with 75 members to provide in-depth analysis and direction for all businesses, and four high-impact systems: land use (agri-food and forest sectors), built environment and energy. Stay tuned for the release on the 12th of September!
**Comments from core group organizations on the announcement of the Nature Positive Initiative:
Diane Holdorf, Executive Vice President, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD): “The adoption of the Global Biodiversity Framework last December marked a key milestone for nature action: along with our members and partners, WBCSD celebrated the inclusion of the Nature Positive goal of “halting and reversing biodiversity loss by 2030” in the landmark agreement. WBCSD remains fully committed to the Nature Positive Initiative to help drive essential alignment with organizations working to accelerate implementation of the agreement. WBCSD continues development of sector-specific roadmap guidance that define strategic and credible Nature Positive approaches and disclosures for business that directly support the goals of the Nature Positive Initiative.”
Marco Lambertini, Convenor of the Nature Positive Initiative: "Reversing biodiversity loss is finally recognised as essential to safeguarding planetary health and, in turn, the future of humanity. The Nature Positive Initiative aims to bring together a multitude of organizations from different sectors to preserve the integrity and the ambition of a 2030 nature positive global goal, broaden adoption, and guide and encourage measurable action. The historic agreement of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework must be the focus and catalyst for action from all sectors so that by the end of the decade we will have more nature in the world, not less, for the world to be a safer place for all of us. Action is urgent to avoid irreversible ecological tipping points. Nature cannot wait, and neither can humanity”.
Dorothy Maseke, Head of the African Natural Capital Alliance Secretariat: "Cognizant of our role as the African Natural Capital Alliance (ANCA) to mobilise the financial community’s response to the risk of nature loss in Africa, we stand resolute in our commitment to safeguarding nature and biodiversity. Our dedication is unwavering as we work collaboratively to create a positive impact on the environment, foster sustainable practices, and ensure the flourishing of our natural capital. Through these endeavours, we aim not only to protect the invaluable biodiversity of Africa but also to inspire a global movement towards a more harmonious coexistence with nature. We are pleased to be part of the Nature Positive Initiative. "
Martin Harper, Interim Chief Executive, BirdLife International: “We are in a nature and climate emergency. Our challenge is to turn the laudable global commitments into action with creativity and urgency. We know we need to transform our economies and we know that action is needed from everyone: governments, businesses, the finance sector and, of course, civil society. Alongside our sister organisations in the Nature Positive Initiative, our 120 national partners stand ready to play their part to the full.”
Eva Zabey, CEO, Business for Nature: "The UN biodiversity COP15 was a watershed moment. It is the first time in a multilateral agreement that governments have been so explicit about what they expect from businesses when it comes to tackling nature loss. The next step is implementation and today's announcement will help operationalize the term 'nature positive' and ensure companies and financial institutions adopt strategies that deliver meaningful, measurable and accountable action and secure positive and sustainable outcomes for all."
Brian O’Donnell, Director of Campaign for Nature: “With nature facing immense challenges, a united global effort to halt and reverse biodiversity loss is essential. The Nature Positive Initiative provides a platform to converge in support of an overarching goal for nature, one that offers a hope for a better future for life on earth. We are encouraged by the collaboration of so many entities working together to implement the nature positive agenda.”
Mark Gough, CEO, Capitals Coalition: "Nature underpins the success of businesses, nations, and global financial markets, as well as the wealth, health, and happiness of all people. The Kunming-Montreal agreement was a truly historic moment which placed the value of nature at the heart of the international agenda and embedded the role of business in contributing to reversing biodiversity loss for the first time. As we move into this next stage of implementing the Global Biodiversity Framework we need united action from across society. The Nature Positive Initiative will provide a platform for convergence to support the Global Goal for Nature, paving the way for the transformation we need in our economic systems to achieve a nature-positive world."
Dr. M. Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International: “To end and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030, we must be determined and aligned: nonprofit organizations partnering with for-profit businesses, governments working in lockstep with civil society. The Nature Positive Initiative creates cohesion to collectively drive impact at scale and protect nature for the sake of our ecosystems, our climate, and ourselves. Conservation International is delighted to be part of this coalition.”
Jane Madgwick, Executive Director, Global Commons Alliance: “Recent science indicates that there is a rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a safe and just future for people and planet. Earth system resilience and human well-being depends on stepping up action urgently and through radical collaboration across companies, in cities, landscapes and countries, to protect and restore nature at scale. Now that the global policy commitments are set and business interest is rising, this Nature Positive Initiative has a vital role to play in harnessing nature-positive ambition, building capacity and actively supporting action. The Global Commons Alliance will take an active role in shaping and implementing the Nature Positive Initiative with all partners, helping broaden the constituency as well as contributing scientific insights, metrics, tools and technical guidance.”
Eelco van de Enden, CEO of Global Reporting Initiative: “The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework made it very clear that accountability and transparency by companies is crucial. Clarity about what ‘Nature Positive impact’ means is essential for organizations to be able to report on their impacts and show progress against measurable actions and targets. This initiative comes at the right moment and we are pleased to be part of it.”
Kobie Brand, ICLEI Deputy Secretary General and Global Director of ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center: “At ICLEI, we are fully committed to the Nature Positive Initiative’s goal which aligns with our mission to mobilize and support local and subnational governments in their efforts towards sustainable development. We further recognize the critical importance of collaboration and alignment of those leading actors working to halt biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation in this Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, as we collectively strive to meet the GBF targets. We are proud to be one of the core organizations driving and guiding this initiative.”
Dr Grethel Aguilar, Acting Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN): “The Nature Positive Initiative plays a key role in tracking measurable progress towards the goals of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. IUCN is proud to contribute with its world-leading biodiversity expertise to this endeavour, to allow companies to plan and deliver concrete actions that benefit living nature. We look forward to driving the Nature Positive Initiative forward as one of its core partners.”
Dr Madhu Rao, Chair, IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas: "Meeting the goal of halting and reversing biodiversity loss by 2030 is essential for all life on Earth and human well-being. Protected areas are an essential part of the equation, and we look forward to working with the Nature Positive Initiative on a globally integrated approach that creates the equitable, nature-positive and carbon-neutral future we all need.”
Professor Milner-Gulland, Nature Positive Universities / University of Oxford: “As a global community of higher education institutions we are committed to playing our part in halting and reversing nature loss, by taking responsibility for our own impacts, making bold actions and transparently documenting progress towards our institutional Nature Positive goals. As part of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, we are reimagining the role universities can play taking action for nature, greening our campus spaces and addressing our biodiversity footprints, informed by science. We are excited to work together with this partnership of organizations to help safeguard a liveable future within planetary boundaries for people and nature.”
Lucy Almond, Chair, Nature4Climate coalition: “After decades of scientific research and campaigning, there is broad recognition of the critical role that nature plays in our efforts to address climate change. Nature positive is beginning to serve as an equally important guiding mechanism for action to halt and reverse biodiversity loss alongside net zero. This initiative is urgently needed to help businesses and governments better understand how they can design and implement nature-positive strategies.”
Simon Zadek, Executive Director of NatureFinance, co-lead of the secretariat, Taskforce on Nature Markets: “Although faced with divergent strategic interests, all countries need to commit to a more equitable, nature-positive global economy, including reshaped trade and investment policies, regulations and standards, and rules governing public procurement and subsidies.”
Professor Johan Rockstrom, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research: “We are at risk of losing one of eight million species. The population of wildlife like birds, fish, mammals and reptiles have been reduced by 70% since 1970. The pace of nature and especially biodiversity decline is unprecedented while we are undermining the functions in the Earth System that provide well being, a safe space that we depend on. The Nature Positive Initiative is crucial to address these nature losses, reverse them and enhance the resilience of our planet, reaching a net positive state for nature by 2030 and restoring nature by 2050.”
David Atkin, CEO, Principles for Responsible Investment: “Climate change and biodiversity loss are inextricably linked challenges, which present systemic risk for investors. PRI welcomed the adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework at its launch and continues to support the Framework, committing the world to take action by 2030 to halt and reverse biodiversity loss. We recognise the importance of effective and consistent implementation of the Global Biodiversity Framework among governments, businesses and investors to enable systems change. We are pleased to be part of the Nature Positive Initiative to scale action to achieve this”.
Erin Billman, Executive Director, Science Based Targets Network: “Nature positive is an essential whole of society goal, akin to the 1.5C goal of the Paris Agreement for climate. Science Based Targets Network's focus on equipping companies with the guidance to set measurable, actionable and time bound targets to do their part for this collective goal is a contribution we look forward to bringing to the Nature Positive Initiative. The NPI is a critical collaboration for ensuring speed, scale, alignment and integrity of nature positive implementation.”
Tony Goldner, Executive Director, Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD): “Following the achievement of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework in December last year, market interest in nature is now scaling quickly. That includes the idea of ‘Nature Positive’. This Initiative is important and critically timed to provide all stakeholders with clarity about what ‘Nature Positive’ means and how business, finance and other stakeholders can contribute to the shared global challenge of halting and reversing nature loss with confidence”
Jennifer Morris, CEO of The Nature Conservancy: “We have collectively achieved global recognition and an agreement that we must halt and reverse nature loss by 2030 and the corporate sector is integral to this effort. Standards and accurate reporting are essential to the integrity of this work. The Nature Conservancy is committed and determined to advocate for the full implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework by governments along with our partners and stakeholders.”
Monica Medina, President and CEO, Wildlife Conservation Society: “We are in the midst of the combined crises of biodiversity loss, climate change, and pandemics of zoonotic origin. We must all do everything we can to combat these crises, and protecting and conserving our planet’s biodiversity is key. WCS works across the globe to protect wildlife and wild places—to ensure the conservation and retention of the ecological integrity of key ecosystems, from forests and savannas to freshwater systems, to coral reefs, coasts, and the world’s oceans. There is no time to waste, and we look forward to continuing to work in partnership with the Nature Positive Initiative to combat these crises."
Ani Dasgupta, President and CEO, World Resources Institute: “The Nature Positive Initiative provides a needed collective focal point to make good on the landmark Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework and drive the kind of ambitious action necessary for people to thrive across the world. Enduring solutions for the biodiversity and climate crisis will only succeed if they create economic opportunity and build a foundation of equity. WRI is pleased to be a part of the Nature Positive Initiative, which is well-positioned to bring the many players and pieces together and support real solutions that uplift people, nature and climate.”
Kirsten Schuijt, Director General of WWF International: "Biodiversity loss threatens human lives and livelihoods, while also undermining our ability to limit global warming to 1.5C. Urgent action is needed by everyone if we are to turn the tide and secure a nature-positive world by 2030. WWF is delighted to be part of the Nature Positive Initiative (NPI) and looks forward to working across communities within the wider NPI Partnership to stimulate a rapid transition to a greener and more sustainable future for people and planet."