UN Secretary-General António Guterres has declared 2021 as the year to “reconcile humanity with nature.” Human-induced environmental changes, including accelerating global warming and mass biodiversity loss, are putting unprecedented pressure on the planet, threatening the achievement of every single one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). So far, international action is falling dramatically short. Of the 20 global biodiversity targets agreed in 2010 none have been fully met and the international community remains largely off track to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, with temperature rises possibly breaching the crucial threshold of 1.5°C as early as 2030.
There is growing recognition that the climate and biodiversity emergencies are mutually reinforcing and should be addressed together. Nature-based solutions, aimed at conserving and restoring ecosystems in a way that benefits biodiversity, the climate as well as human well-being, could play a vital role in this regard. Yet, such interventions must be carefully designed to account for the complex interlinkages between natural processes and implications for human development. This public panel discussion brings together leading experts on biodiversity and climate change to discuss the urgent need to transform our relationship with nature and possible ways forward.
This event is organised in honour of the late Professor Dame Georgina Mace, former Director of the UCL Centre for Biodiversity & Environment Research (CBER) and a vital voice on the importance of biodiversity protection for tackling the climate emergency.