Canada will join international partners in supporting new research by the World Economic Forum to better understand the economic opportunities resulting from protecting nature.
On April 24 and 25, 2019, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, announced this initiative at the Nature Champions Summit, in Montréal.
The Government of Canada is providing funding to the initiative, which will explore the connections between climate change, biodiversity, forests, oceans, and land use; examine the economic value that nature provides; and outline the opportunities for financing global conservation efforts.
The research is essential to help inform global efforts to reverse the loss of nature and wildlife around the world, fight climate change, and create sustainable economic growth. Using the frameworks of risks and opportunities, this initiative will consider how protecting nature and investing in biodiversity support the stability of economies, food and land-use systems, livelihoods and jobs, society, and political structures.
The World Economic Forum will draw on its networks of experts, civil society, government, and industry leaders to inform the research. Through multi-stakeholder consultations, this initiative will engage a broad coalition of actors committed to high-ambition solutions to the rapid decline in biodiversity around the world and reinforce evidence-based decision-making in the run up to the 15th United Nations Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, in China (in 2020).
The first phase of the initiative will examine the economic value of nature associated with biodiversity, the climate, and society. Findings will be released at the United Nations’ 2019 Climate Summit, in September. The next phase of the initiative will focus on opportunities for financing nature conservations and will begin in 2020.
As part of the initiative, insight papers will also be released to support dialogue, at the United Nations General Assembly in 2019; the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in 2020; and the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s World Conservation Congress in 2020, in Marseilles.
To date, the study’s key funding partners include Environment and Climate Change Canada, the MAVA Foundation, and the Moore Foundation. Early corporate champions include Cargill, Danone, Kering, Mars, Unilever, and Yara; the list is growing rapidly.