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Business for Nature: more than a rational choice

2020-09-15GoldenBeeEva Zabey0


The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the economic and social development, and the cause of global sustainable development is also facing many new challenges.

At the 15th International CSR Forum held in Beijing, guests at home and abroad shared on global CSR and sustainable development trend, conveying stronger conviction and confidence of sustainable development, and showing us the value that responsibility builds corporate resilience in the post-COVID-19 era.

Eva Zabey, Executive Director of Business for Nature, reiterated the significance of Business for Nature and the development and prospects of the alliance over the past year. She said that, many businesses understand already that our economic and social prosperity relies on a healthy natural world. If nature disappears, so does the bottom line. As well as being the rational choice to make, safeguarding nature makes economic and financial sense.

 
 
Speech from Eva Zabey

I am delighted to join you today for this very important meeting. Business for Nature was launched exactly a year ago at the GoldenBee CSR event of 2019. So it is an honor to be able to celebrate this first anniversary with you and to look back at our journey since then and look to the future at what we are aiming to achieve together as we need your help.

Business for Nature is a global coalition that brings together business organisations like the World Economic Forum, the International Chamber of Commerce and NGOs like WWF and IUCN. Our mission is to create a unified business community to work together with governments around the world to ensure that collectively we can reverse nature loss by 2030.

Why is that so important?

Many businesses understand already that our economic and social prosperity relies on a healthy natural world. Recent challenges show the importance of resilience and the right leadership from businesses as deforestation and loss of wildlife are highly connected with infectious diseases. However, current economic practices are putting the planet under ever-increasing pressure. Wildlife is disappearing, sea and land are being degraded, and natural resources are becoming scarce, posing significant risks to our economies, societies and everyone’s livelihoods and health.

It is estimated that USD 44 trillion of economic value generation – over half the world’s total GDP – is at moderate or high risk due to nature loss. In China, $2.7 trillion comes from nature-dependent sectors  and 58% of China’s GDP is highly or moderately affected by nature loss (World Economic Forum, 2020). If nature disappears, so does the bottom line. As well as being the rational choice to make, safeguarding nature makes economic and financial sense, especially in the long-term for forward-thinking businesses.    

Why is it important to act and engage now on this agenda?

In 2021, the Government of China will host the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Kunming City, Yunnan Province. During this conference, under the leadership of China, countries will take the unique opportunity to reach consensus on the Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and to accelerate the transition towards more resilient societies and more thriving economies within nature’s limits.

Similar to the milestone Paris Agreement in 2015 on climate, we need to reach a Kunming Agreement to ensure that governments, businesses and civil society can make joint and concrete actions aimed at reversing nature loss by 2030 and showcase the Chinese philosophy of Ecological Civilization.  
       
Business for Nature supports active business engagement in this international process to ensure that business voices and best practices are heard on a global stage. Businesses must be part of the solution. This is why we need you. We need you all to be leaders to safeguard the wellbeing of our planet and future generations.

And whether you are already far along your journey or just starting it, you can help us today. Business for Nature has launched a Call to Action for businesses to promote collective and ambitious policies on nature. The Call to Action is:    
                                            
Healthy societies, resilient economies and thriving businesses rely on nature.
Governments must adopt policies now to reverse nature loss in this decade.
Together let's protect, restore and sustainably use our natural resources.
Nature is
everyone’s business

 
If your company agrees with this principle and ambition, you can visit our website: businessfornature.org and sign up now. It is very easy. We are already delighted to have leading Chinese Businesses like Fosun International, COFCO International, JD.com, Modern Sky, Tencent and Nature Home signed up.

Therefore, we encourage you all to join this activity and add your voice to the global stage by signing up now and therefore ensuring that the COP taking place in Kunming next year is an international success.

Now I am inviting you to watch this short video to meet some of the business leaders that have already signed up. We hope you can join them. Thank you very much to GoldenBee for supporting Business for Nature since our launch here last year, for helping with our major global event last month, and we are looking forward to working more closely with you and see as many of you as possible next year in Kunming.


Click here to watch the full speech video.
 
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