Plenary Session: | 4 OCTOBER
A New Global Framework for Biodiversity: Implications for Asia
DATE AND TIME
4 October 13:45 – 15:15 hrs (ICT)
Conference Room 3, UN Conference Centre Bangkok, Thailand
Biodiversity, the variety of life on earth, has long been viewed as crucial to the well-being of both humanity and the planet’s ecosystems. But in more recent years, there has been increased attention on the importance of biodiversity to economic growth and business continuity, and the adverse impacts of posed by business operations. As one of the most biologically diverse regions on earth, Asia is home to a remarkable array of ecosystems, species, and genetic resources. Still, biodiversity loss is rising at an alarming rate in the region as rapid economic development results in urbanization, industrialization, unsustainable resource extraction, and agricultural expansion. According to recent projections, as much as 42% of all species in Southeast Asia could be lost by the turn of the century.
Since around 1970, 40% of coral reefs and 60% of mangroves in the Asia Pacific region have disappeared. The adverse human rights impacts stemming from biodiversity loss are also considerable, including on the right to life and livelihoods. Recognizing this, the World Economic Forum rated biodiversity loss and ecosystems crisis as the fourth most severe global risk over the next ten years.
In December 2022, the international community convened in Montreal, Canada, under the auspices of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and agreed to a new Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF). Among other objectives, the framework includes ambitious ‘30x30’ targets which seek to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by conserving and restoring at least 30% of the planet's land and oceans by 2030.
However, the implementation of 30X30 and other parts of this new framework require careful consideration of the human rights implications. Recognizing this, the GBF calls for a human rights-based approach and recognition of the right to a healthy environment to underpin its implementation. Crucially, the GBF also identifies the role of business and finance to address biodiversity loss under Target 15. With this target, governments will encourage companies and financial institutions to assess and disclose their risks, impacts and dependencies on nature, through their operations, supply chains, and portfolios. However, the readiness of companies in Asia to undertake efforts to mitigate risks to biodiversity is not yet clear.
This session aims to provide a platform for diverse stakeholders to discuss and address the opportunities and controversies surrounding the Global Biodiversity Framework and how it links to the responsibilities of business in supporting the realization to the right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment. It seeks to foster dialogue, share insights, and identify innovative approaches to ensure effective implementation of the GBF.
In a panel format, followed by a question-and-answer period, assembled panelists will first provide a focused overview of the Global Biodiversity Framework and its human-rights based approach. Discussion will then be had around the GBF targets and implications for various stakeholders, especially the private sector. Key features of Target 15 will be outlined including the views of business on the challenges and opportunities of an emerging disclosure framework.
Enhanced understanding of the Global Biodiversity Framework and its implication for Asian business leaders and policy makers, with specific attention paid to 30X30 targets and the role of the private sector including through corporate disclosures
Enhanced understanding of the interlinkages between human rights and biodiversity in the GBF, with a focus on the implications for the private sector
Promotion of multi-stakeholder collaboration and engagement for effective biodiversity conservation
Exploration of innovative solutions and pathways forward to achieve biodiversity goals alongside socio-economic development.