Friday, December 9, 2022
Simon King (Independent), Chris Lemieux (Wilfrid Laurier University), Melissa Lem (Independent), An Urgent Call to Integrate the Health Sector into the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (2022):
There is a rapidly closing window of opportunity to stop biodiversity loss and secure the resilience of all life on Earth. In December 2022, Parties to the United Nations (UN) Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will meet in Montreal, Canada, to finalize the language and terms of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (Post-2020 GBF). The Post-2020 GBF aims to address the shortcomings of the previous Strategic Plan on Biodiversity 2011-2020, by introducing a Theory of Change, that states that biodiversity protection will only be successful if unprecedented, transformative changes are implemented effectively by Parties to the CBD. In this policy perspective we explore the implications of the Theory of Change chosen to underpin the Post-2020 GBF, specifically that broad social transformation is an outcome that requires actors to be specified. We detail how the health sector is uniquely positioned to be an effective actor and ally in support of the implementation of the Post-2020 GBF. Specifically, we highlight how the core competencies and financial and human resources available in the health sector (including unique knowledge, skill sets, experiences, and established trust) provide a compelling, yet mostly untapped opportunity to help create and sustain the enabling conditions necessary to achieve the goals and targets of the framework. While by no means a panacea for the world’s biodiversity problems, we posit that explicitly omitting the health sector from the Post-2020 GBF substantially weakens the global, collective effort to catalyze the trans-formative changes required to safeguard biodiversity.