Ministerial Meeting 2018: Multilateralism to meet the challenges of biodiversity, climate change and natural resources


Item 10: Multilateralism to meet the challenges of biodiversity, climate change and natural resources

 Thursday 31 May 2018 - 15:30

The purpose of this session was to consider the importance of using multilateralism to address the challenges relating to biodiversity loss, climate change and the depletion of natural resources, all of which are major issues with a global impact.

The climate emergency and sixth mass extinction of species currently in progress both call for determined and concerted action by the international community. 

Breakout Group 1: The co-benefits of actions to protect biodiversity and the climate

Investing in land rehabilitation, sustainable forest management, sustainable agriculture, the fight against land consumption and the degradation of natural environments, all offer nature-based solutions to help achieve the climate goals set out in the Paris Agreement.

Ecosystem-based approaches to climate change and disaster risk reduction generate additional environmental, economic and social benefits that go beyond adjusting to climate change and reducing risks. They are often described as “no-regret” or “low-regret” options in view of the benefits they can generate regardless of the uncertainty surrounding climate scenarios. Among other benefits, they can improve biodiversity conservation. 

In the case of risk management, post-disaster reconstruction can provide an opportunity to “re-build better”, and in particular to preserve and restore biodiversity in order to enhance the resilience of ecosystems and reduce their vulnerability to disasters.

As biodiversity is an integral component of ecosystem services, investing in approaches that strengthen biodiversity amounts to enlarging an investment portfolio that could yield major benefits in the long run.

The breakout group discussed the following:

  • How can we increase synergies in our public policies to support both biodiversity and the climate, including in the realm of sustainable agriculture, forestry, fisheries, tourism, landuse change and landuse policy, pollution, and water management?

  • How can the international organisations help national policy makers to promote biodiversity and the services rendered by ecosystems, in a long-term approach and against the backdrop of climate change?

Breakout Group 2 – Addressing the environmental challenges in finance and national budgets

In a world where economics and international trade play a major role, it is essential to demonstrate, first of all, how ecosystems can contribute to the economy on both the national and the international level, and then to integrate the costs of their degradation into accounting systems. 

The breakout group discussed the following:

  • How can we encourage governments to integrate climate-related risks and broader financial investment into national budgets?

  • How can current financial frameworks be reformed to speed up and broaden sustainable or ‘green’ financial flows, in particular by cooperating in order to maximise cooperation between public financial institutions (multilateral funds and banks, bilateral agencies) and private institutions?

  • Which public policies are Ministers implementing to address environmental challenges and climate change, including towards meeting the Paris Agreement objectives? How can the international organisations help? For example, through the development of financial instruments for ‘green investment’, infrastructure and R&D, the introduction of standards and labels, and the role of public authorities in this area.

Breakout Group 3 – Resource efficiency and the transition to a circular economy

Global consumption of natural resources has largely exceeded the Earth’s regenerative capacity. Environmental impacts (climate change, pollution of air, water and soil, loss of biodiversity, etc.) cannot be effectively reduced if policies focus solely on reducing pollution. Sustainable management and effective use of resources constitute a key strategy to protect the environment. Decoupling economic growth and the development of welfare from resource use is essential if sustainable development goals are to be met.

The breakout group discussed the following:

  • How can your government support the policies needed to separate the development of economic well-being from the use of resources and its impact on the environment (such as the development of intelligent infrastructure, incentives to extend product lifetimes, recycling, policies to support innovation)?

  • How can current national, regional and international frameworks be reformed in order to efficiently address the current and future challenges and opportunities of resource efficiency and the transition to a circular economy, including issues relating to increasingly globalised value and procurement chains?

  • How can we effectively involve stakeholders, including civil society and the public, in stepping up the pace of implementation of resource efficiency and the transition to a circular economy? What role can international organisations play?




  • Key Issues Paper
    For reference: C/MIN(2018)2

  • Implementing the Paris Agreement: Remaining Challenges and the Role of the OECD
    For reference: C/MIN(2018)12




Related Documents