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.
Moderator and Panelists
Sean Lees (Moderator)
Business and Human Rights Specialist, United Nations Development Programme, Asia-Pacific
Sean Lees is a Business and Human Rights Specialist at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Asia/Pacific, serving in this role since 2017. In this capacity, Sean promotes responsible business action in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand. He advises companies on the most salient sustainability risks, drafts standard-setting guidance, and promotes policy development that advances business engagement in environment and human rights issues. Sean joined UNDP in 2007 and worked on human rights and rule of law issues in Afghanistan, Fiji, Iraq, and Sudan. Sean also served as a policy officer at the Executive Office of the UN Secretary-General in New York City. Prior to his work with the UN, Sean was a legal advisor to both the US Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security.
Joseph D'Cruz (JD)
Chief Executive Officer, Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil
JD is the CEO of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, the world's leading sustainability standard for palm oil and associated products. He and his team work to define and demonstrate how such crops can be produced sustainably, and to ensure the availability of sustainably produced and certified palm oil products on the global market.
Prior to this JD was the Special Advisor for Strategic Planning and Innovation and a member of the Executive Group at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). JD led the design and implementation of UNDP’s Strategic Plans and a range of transformation, futures and innovation initiatives from UNDP’s headquarters in New York.
As a Director of Women4Biodiversity, Mrinalini is a passionate advocate for women's rights and environmental justice. Her expertise lies in policy, advocacy, and research addressing human rights, gender, and environmental governance. She has spent several years advocating for the rights of indigenous peoples, local communities, women, and youth in various local and global environmental-related processes. She firmly believes in the power of the ground-level up movement, and the strength of communities' lived experiences and voices. She has supported community-led conservation initiatives in the global South for many years. She has a keen interest in working with strengthening synergies and recognizes the need for enhancing those synergies among Multilateral Environment Agreements, and other environmental-related policies and processes. She focused on integrating human rights and gender equality in the decisions and outcomes of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD) and realising the need for a space for women and girls' engagement in the work of the Convention established the CBD Women’s Caucus in 2014.
Dr. Mochamad Saleh Nugrahadi
Director - Rivershed Area and Natural Resources ConservationManagement, Indonesdia Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Investment
Mochamad Saleh Nugrahadi is an accomplished professional in the field of environmental science and resource management. Currently serving as the Director of Rivershed Area and Natural Resources Conservation Management at the Office of Deputy of Environment and Forestry Management within the Indonesia Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Investment, he plays a pivotal role in overseeing the strategic preservation and sustainable utilization of natural resources. He leads the efforts to accelerate the pollution control initiatives for the Citarum Watershed in Indonesia, and also leads an effort on National Priority Lake Rescue to control damage.
Advocacy and Asia Lead, Business for Nature
Pallavi is the Advocacy and Asia Lead for Business for Nature. Prior to joining Business for Nature, Pallavi worked for several years with the Delegation of the European Union to India where she focused on international trade policy research and advocacy. She also served as a Trade Policy Advisor to the British High Commission, New Delhi.
In addition, Pallavi has worked as a researcher with premier Indian think tanks, including the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) and the National Council for Applied Economic Research (NCAER).
Chin Sing Yun
Conservation Programme Leader, Wilmar International
She has 20 years working experiences in conservation especially protected area and High Conservation Value Areas (forest, peat swamp and mangroves), community-based conservation, and plantation conservation etc in collaboration with various government agencies, plantation companies, NGOs and local communities.
She has extensive experience in providing training and technical inputs to the agencies and local communities on conservation issues, habitat and protected area management and livelihood options in Malaysia. Currently she is working on HCV management, coordination of No Deforestation No Peat monitoring, HCV-HCSA related issues and development of recovery plan for Wilmar re-entry criteria.