On November 22, to implement relative decisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and promote the engagement of business in biodiversity conservation, the International Workshop of Biodiversity and Green Development was held in Beijing. The workshop was co-hosted by the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and organized by the Foreign Economic Cooperation Office, MEP (FECO/MEP). Mr. Li Ganjie, Vice Minister of Environmental Protection and the Secretary General of China’s National Committee of Biodiversity Conservation (CNCBC) addressed the workshop.
Dr. Dias, the Executive Secretary of the CBD sent a video message. Mr Zhang Shigang, the Representative of UNEP in China and Mr. Edward Clarence-Smith, the Coordinator of China Regional Office of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization addressed the meeting. Mr. Chen Liang, the Acting Director General of FECO/MEP reported on the survey results of the business engagement and awareness of biodiversity.
Vice Minister Li Ganjie said that the 3rd meeting of the 18th CPC Congress which had just closed put forward the improvement of the ownership and the usage control systems for natural resources and capital. Biodiversity is the most important component of natural resources and business is the major player in a market. To promote business engagement in biodiversity conservation has practical significance and represents concrete actions to respond to the decisions of the 3rd meeting of the 18th Congress. The conservation model that is led by the government, promoted by industries, engaged by business and participated by the public will help the business to explore a green development path that conserves biodiversity, improves economic benefits and promotes social equity.
Vice Minister Li Ganjie raised three recommendations. First, governments at all levels should take actions to create an institutional environment that is conducive to business engagement. Second, industry associations should serve as a platform to promote vertical development of biodiversity conservation. Third, business should integrate conservation efforts into their operation based on their characteristics and carry out related actions within their field.
Mr. Zhang Shigang pointed out that UNEP has kept a long-term close cooperation with the MEP in biodiversity conservation and green development and is committed to mainstreaming environmental sustainable development. Since 2012 when the Economics of Ecosystem and Biodiversity (TEEB) was launched in China, it has gained great support from the MEP and the focus of TEEB has changed from scientific research to supporting convention implementation and decision-making of the government. Dependent on case studies, UNEP will provide local governments and business with sound tools and methods in sustainable development planning and share China’s experience with the international community.
The workshop was participated by nearly a hundred representatives from the members of CNCBC, MEP, international organizations, NGOs, well-known foreign and Chinese companies and industry associations. The Training Workshop of Business and Biodiversity was held a day before the workshop.