The COVID-19 pandemic has radically changed global perspectives for 2020, not to mention our own personal lives. This health crisis, one of the most severe in the modern era, quickly became economic and societal, putting our ability to collectively respond in a coordinated manner to the test.
Only collective action on a global scale can help prevent the most extreme consequences of this multifaceted crisis. The current situation requires governments to devise unprecedented recovery plans. It is our responsibility to propose a new model of prosperity founded on resilience, sustainability and solidarity.
Beyond the stabilization phase, we must spur a powerful recovery that encourages sustainable jobs and rethinks investment choices with an eye to mitigating new crises brought about by climate change or the loss of biodiversity.
This recovery will have to be much more than green: it must blaze trails toward a new economy defined by greater fairness and inclusivity.
Building this more ecological future is the aim of the One Planet Summits launched by French President Emmanuel Macron, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and the President of the World Bank.
The three previous summits enabled a multitude of actors to make ambitious commitments and bring about very concrete results.
The One Planet Lab is working on ambitious recommendations that would integrate sustainability into recovery and economic stimulus measures around the world.
The next One Planet summit will take place in Marseille as part of the IUCN World Conservation Congress. It will be an opportunity to take action in favor of biodiversity and to raise the international community’s bar in relation to environmental preservation and climate protection, while providing answers to the new questions this current crisis raises.
This summit is part of the series of international events leading up to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity’s COP15. The loss of biodiversity is as great a concern as climate change and neither is safe from the threat of global pandemics.
A report issued by IPBES, a group of international experts considered the authority on the matter, estimates that roughly a million plants and animals are currently threatened with extinction in the next few decades, a first in the history of mankind.
More than 40% of amphibian species and more than a third of all sea mammals are threatened, while up to 70% of coral reefs have already disappeared or suffered severe damage. This decline in ecosystems and natural habitats increases the risk of disease transmission from animals to humans, including zoonoses and coronaviruses.
The One Planet Summit hopes to increase political engagement around the world while there is still time and to propose concrete, innovative solutions to reverse these trends.
In preparation for this summit, the President of the French Republic appointed a special advisor for biodiversity, Monique Barbut, charged with its organization, particularly the high-level segment.
Four themes have been identified: protected land and sea areas, agroecology, the mobilization of financial resources for biodiversity, and tackling deforestation, the protection of ecosystems and species.
Each and every partner of the One Planet Summit has a role to play in building this more sustainable and united future. More than ever, collective efforts by various governments, international public institutions, the private sector, and civil society will be decisive in bringing these new, highly impactful propositions to fruition. The One Planet Summit and its multi-actor coalitions can contribute to creating more sustainable recovery plans that respect nature and the climate.
"Links between biodiversity, climate change and human health are now well established. Thus we will organize in the coming month a One Planet Summit on biodiversity, alongside the United Nations and the World Bank, where we will build an agenda for concret action."