UNDP announces three day Nature for Life Hub

Humanity must urgently transform its relationship with nature if we are to avoid potentially catastrophic environmental, economic and social consequences for future generations, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) warned as it launches registration for its three-day virtual “Nature for Life Hub.”

This unique virtual event will take audiences on thematic journeys for a deep dive into specialist topics such as sustainable food production, transforming finance, and ecosystem protection, and will explore some of the practical solutions and ambitious actions that are paving a path toward a nature-positive future. Participants will include representatives from governments, international organizations, civil society, academia, local and Indigenous communities and the private sector, with the aim of agreeing on a common agenda that lays the foundations for a ‘decade of hope and transformation’ for humanity and the environment.

The opening session will be held on the 22nd September on the margins of the UN General Assembly. Participating world leaders will be invited to discuss advances in meeting their commitments to protect the environment, and to build on those commitments with bold, new pledges.

The second part of the Hub, a three-day virtual series of events, produced by UNDP, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), with other partners, will be broadcast from October 4th through 6th.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will be broadcast in English, Spanish and French. More information, including on how to register to watch the event, is available at Nature for Life Hub.

The Nature for Life Hub will be a catalyst for raising current ambitions and building greater momentum for increasing environmental protections as we approach the upcoming UN Food Systems Summit, the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15), and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification.

Each of the three days will focus on a specific theme, under an overall umbrella of “Responding to our planetary crisis: Toward a decade of hope and transformation.”

The session on October 4th, “Transforming our relationship with the planet”, will explore how society can reshape current economic and political models to develop new solutions that protect and restore the environment, including new partnerships recognizing the rights of Indigenous peoples. One Earth will be discussing an important science based plan to protect biodiversity and solve the climate crisis. The session includes the Equator Prize, an annual award recognizing community efforts to achieve local sustainable development through nature-based solutions. This year’s winners, drawn from local and Indigenous communities from 9 countries, have together protected more than 1.8 million hectares of critical ecosystems, and have improved the livelihoods of more than 180,000 people. The session also includes the launch of the UN Biodiversity Lab, in partnership with UNEP, CBD, Microsoft and others.

The session on October 5th will explore how businesses can embrace practices that restore, regenerate and protect nature while sustaining communities. Under the theme of “From the Ground Up: Transforming Production,” participants will be invited to showcase best practices for sustainable business models that safeguard the environment, with a particular focus on food, global supply chains, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the role of small and medium-sized enterprises.

 The final day, “Pathways toward a nature-positive future,” will begin with an exploration of how to transform public and private sector finance to reduce impacts on nature. New initiatives will be shared that build on efforts creates a new framework for businesses to report and respond to environmental impacts, following a recent call by G7 governments for mandatory financial disclosures of climate-related risks. The final session will identify 25 pathways for a nature-positive future.

After the event, UNDP will continue to add new case studies, lessons, media and resources under each of the sessions, and will continue a call to action to civil society to put nature at the heart of sustainable development.