Embracing a Global Goal for Nature

Published: 30 Apr 2021
Type: News

Geneva, 30 April 2021 – Today, a new paper titled A Nature-Positive World: the Global Goal for Nature was released. Co-authored by Johan Rockström, Harvey Locke and CEOs of a dozen conservation and business organizations, including WBCSD, this paper makes a strong case with scientific justification for the necessity to ensure there is more nature by 2030 – drawing on 78 published academic papers.

Nature is declining at unprecedented rates with an estimated USD $44 trillion of economic value at risk from nature loss. The momentum behind Nature Positive has been growing since its inception with more and more businesses, civil society organizations or finance organizations referencing it, and there is strong interest from some governments to consider embracing it too. To avoid the term being diluted, a consistent and credible approach to defining and using the term “nature positive” is required.

To get to a nature positive world, the paper advocates utilizing the full mitigation hierarchy that avoids areas that are significant for biodiversity, limits other losses to nature, and compensates for unavoidable losses through ecological restoration and regeneration to get to a full recovery of nature by 2050. The goal would have three measurable temporal objectives:

  • Zero net loss of nature from 2020,
  • Net positive by 2030, and
  • Full recovery by 2050.

It should be combined with development and climate goals to create an integrated overarching direction for global agreements of an equitable, nature-positive, carbon-neutral world.

The Global Goal for Nature is a necessary vision and ambition to counter the current lack of action for nature protection, epitomized by the recent UK Treasury Dasgupta review showing that we have collectively failed the natural world, with demands far outstripping its capacity to supply us with goods and services, putting at risk the prosperity and health of current and future generations. 

Peter Bakker, WBCSD President and CEO said: “We need all stakeholders at the table to ensure an ambitious post-2020 global biodiversity framework is adopted. This is urgently needed as the Aichi Biodiversity targets, all twenty of them, were not met. The work with Global Goal for Nature sets clear goals and ambitions for where we need to go.

At WBCSD, we look forward to working with scientists, policymakers, financiers and investors, innovators and consumers to translate this goal into practical and actionable steps for companies from all sectors. The business case is clear to contribute to an equitable, net-zero, nature positive economy, as laid out in WBCSD’s Vision 2050 which sets a shared vision of a world in which more than 9 billion people are able to live well, within planetary boundaries, by 2050. Only collaboration at unprecedented levels will create the impact and speed needed.”

As we move through milestone events in 2021 that will determine our course for nature recovery, it is critical to mobilize business and engage them in a nature positive journey, along the way mobilizing USD $2.7 trillion of investments required annually through 2030 and creating nearly 400 million jobs.

The Global Goal for Nature supporting organizations are:

BirdLife International

Business for Nature

Capitals Coalition

Conservation International

Global Environment Facility

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

The Nature Conservancy

Wildlife Conservation Society

World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

World Resources Institute

World Wildlife Fund for Nature International.

Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative

For more information, please visit https://www.naturepositive.org/

About the UN biodiversity meeting COP15

The UN biodiversity meeting COP15 will be held from 11 to 24 October 2021, in Kunming, China. This year's goal is to adopt a post-2020 global biodiversity framework, as a crucial steppingstone towards the 2050 vision of “living in harmony with nature”. The CBD parties and a range of stakeholders have agreed to adopt processes to promote international cooperation in the face of growing environmental, health and development challenges. At COP15, they will call for an integrated approach to ensure that action is taken to reverse biodiversity loss and its impact on ecosystems, species and people. The supporting organizations of the Global Goal for Nature hope that governments will negotiate using an ambitious 2030 lens.

About WBCSD Nature Action work

In 2020, WBCSD launched Nature Action as a cross-cutting project to support members as they engage in and act on the nature agenda while building business alignment, solutions and collective action in three key socio-economic systems: food, land and ocean use; infrastructure and the built environment; and energy and extractives. Together with members and key stakeholders, the project (1) creates opportunities for engagement and starts readying members to implement frameworks in development such as science-based targets for nature (SBTN) and Taskforce on Nature-Related disclosures (TNFD), by (2) identifies sectoral narratives and roadmaps for action to nature positive, including nature-based solutions and (3) elevates members solutions and business leadership in key Nature and Climate events with consistent policy enablers. This builds on over 20 years of WBCSD and member experience in business and biodiversity and corporate ecosystem service assessment and valuation.

Related WBCSD publications:

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