I have finally drawn sufficient breath to start my series of brief recaps on some of the highlights of last week’s IUCN Leaders Forum in Geneva.
Certainly it was a heady mix of inspirational meshed with thought-provoking!
One of the debates I wanted to highlight was already in the media on the day. Reuters covered the topic of Nature Positive quoting Marília Monteiro Silva, senior portfolio manager in nature finance at Greenpeace International. Silva believes biodiversity is too complex to measure in a similar way to carbon emissions. In fact Silva says this is akin to talking about measuring the unmeasurable.
This was brought up by Dominic Waughray of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, who pointed to the importance of having clear targets and measurements in biodiversity.
Waughray countered Silva’s comments saying that whilst in the past biodiversity was deemed too complex to handle, Planetary Boundaries have put science-based data into a context for all to tap into. We now have information on some 150.000 species. We know where they are and their drivers and we can now come up with a metric that allows us to compare apples with apples. Finally we have replicable biodiversity metrics and a pathway to set creditable targets on biodiversity.
As Stewart Maginnis of IUCN mentioned, we only have to look at the mess we got ourselves into by addressing separate issues, this is a challenge to be embraced not shied away from – we can’t afford to have disparate packages of information – we need to see the bigger picture that will empower all of us.
Lucy Mulenkei, Executive Director, Indigenous Information Network, agreed, collective data is vital. Having this enables addressing indigenous peoples’ values, customs and ways of life and ensuring these are taken into account holistically.
Certainly the entire system has to be pulled together and as Waughray reiterated, we need to move beyond thinking about our little piece of the pie by tapping into the same data.
As he said we need radical collaboration.
Over the coming weeks I will be sharing further insights from the Leaders Forum.