Future Earth and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity agree to strengthen collaboration

Cristiana Pasca-Palmer (left) of the Convention on Biological Diversity and Future Earth's Anne-Hélène Prieur-Richard (right) sign a new agreement at an event in Montreal. Photo: IISD/ENB, Francis Dejon
The international research organisations will join forces to catalyse new research to inform evidence-based policy focusing on the world’s biodiversity.

Today, Future Earth and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) agreed to strengthen their collaboration around a number of key areas. The two organisations signed the new agreement at the 21st meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical, and Technological Advice (SBSTTA), which runs from 11 to 14 December in Montreal.

The Convention on Biological Diversity is an international treaty for the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources. With 196 Parties so far, the Convention has near universal participation among countries. Its Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 is an internationally-recognised framework for protecting the biodiversity that underpins sustainable development.

Future Earth is an international organisation that accelerates transformation to global sustainability through research and innovation.

The signing of a memorandum of understanding marks an important commitment by both organisations to jointly strive to achieve the Aichi biodiversity targets and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

“As the world takes the steps to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity and build a sustainable future, the Convention on Biological Diversity relies on partners like Future Earth for the evidence-base for policy decisions and action,” said Dr. Cristiana Pasca-Palmer, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

“The discussions of the post-2020 period will be about transitions of socio-ecological systems and will require that we all harness the opportunities provided by disruption. Our work with Future Earth will ensure that as we move forward towards the 2050 vision of the Strategic Plan for BIodiversity, we are guided by the best available science from around the world,” she said.

Based on the memorandum of understanding, the Secretariat of CBD and Future Earth agreed to strengthen their collaboration to:

  • Support the development of plausible pathways toward the 2050 Vision of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 by mobilising scientific communities and providing scientific knowledge;
  • Align relevant research priorities with policy needs, such as in support of CBD’s work on biodiversity and health;
  • Support the mainstreaming of biodiversity as an important consideration in other sectors of society.

"We know that biodiversity underpins all aspects of sustainability – from clean air and drinking water to the wellbeing of people living in cities and rural areas alike. Future Earth is excited to work with CBD to help bring a consideration of biodiversity into the mainstream, ensuring that it is embedded into critical international sustainability efforts,” said Amy Luers, Executive Director of Future Earth.

Future Earth and CBD recently worked together to launch a project called Natural Systems and Sustainable Cities, which builds on the successful Cities Biodiversity Outlook undertaken by CBD and its partners. This project aims at assessing areas where urban growth is likely to have the greatest impact on biodiversity and ecosystems. Future Earth and CBD will also collaborate with governments at various levels to develop tools and best practices to support efforts to to foster biodiversity through urban design, planning, development and management.

“This partnership is very important to Future Earth. It will enable us to provide the evidence-based knowledge the world needs to make the transformational changes that are at the heart of the Aichi biodiversity targets, the 2050 vision and the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Anne-Helene Prieur-Richard, Director of the Future Earth Global Hub in Montreal, Canada.

“Nature-based solutions, building on biodiversity, are an example of these transformational changes, which are already arising around the globe. A science-based assessment of opportunities, constraints and impacts for these solutions will be key for efficient and long-term policy decisions and the safeguarding of biodiversity and critical ecosystem services,” added Prieur-Richard.