Banner image by Mike Benna

Looking ahead – a new collaborative global biodiversity framework fund launches in Vancouver

Looking ahead – a new collaborative global biodiversity framework fund launches in Vancouver


Published on 31 August 2023

Share this: Twitter,etc

A profile picture of Patrick Oko Quaye Patrick Oko Quaye – RENEW PhD Student, Theme 4. Business and Finance Decision-makers


Amid the smoky backdrop of wildfire-ridden Vancouver (Vancouver Island News 2023), a momentous event unfolded – the Seventh Global Environment Facility Assembly.

“It stands as a testament to the collective determination of nations to steer our planet towards a healthier future for the planet and its people.” Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility.

This statement by Carlos Manuel Rodríguez to the assembly, which was in attendance by environmental leaders and managers from governments, business, academia, and civil society including women and young people, underscores how this pivotal moment will be etched into history (GEF, 2023).

The momentum of ‘NATURE Action’ in 2023 is undeniable, as governments and corporate bodies set their sights on the urgent need to halt and reverse the alarming loss of biodiversity. This year welcomed a ground-breaking commitment by nearly 200 governments who, at COP 15 in December 2022, established the Global Biodiversity Framework, a comprehensive blueprint for safeguarding nature.

The march of progress continued with the landmark approval of the EU Nature Restoration Law, a pioneering legislation that aims to restore ecosystems on a continent-wide scale. The parallel stride came in the form of the Global Biodiversity Framework Fund (GBFF) which was ratified and launched by 185 countries.

The GBFF has been designed to mobilise and accelerate investment in the conservation and sustainability of wild species and ecosystems, whose health is under threat from wildfires, flooding, habitat loss, extreme weather, and human activity including urban sprawl. Backed by initial contributions by Canada of 200 million dollars and 10 million Great British Pounds from the United Kingdom (GEF, 2023), this fund is potentially a potent weapon against these threats.

A picture of the aftermath of wildfires in Canada by Landon Parenteau

Above: The impact of wildfires creates habitat loss, impacting biodiversity, economy and vital resource. Image Credit: Landon Parenteau

Amidst this historic year with the European Business Nature Summit 2023 in view, the following key pathways beckon us towards a sustainable future:

  • Laws with Rewards: Binding commitments backed by incentives will drive further action.
  • Global Replication: The momentum for change must transcend national and continental boundaries. Successful continent-wide nature restoration laws, like the EU Nature Restoration Law, should inspire emulation worldwide. The replication of these regulations ensures that the collective efforts to restore ecosystems become a global movement, leaving no corner of the planet untouched by sustainable practices.
  • Transparent Accountability: An essential cornerstone of progress is accountability. Institutions and organizations should embrace transparency by disclosing their impact and dependencies on biodiversity and nature using the guidelines provided by the Task Force on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) and detail strategies for addressing it. This transparency creates a culture of responsibility, where every decision is informed by its potential ecological consequences.
  • Net Positive Impact: The goal must shift beyond mere nature impacts and dependencies mitigation. Every entity, regardless of its size or industry, should strive for net positive contributions to biodiversity. This ambitious objective requires not only minimizing negative impacts but also actively fostering ecological health. By consciously enhancing the ecosystems that they interact with, organizations can take on a regenerative role in the environment.
  • Strengthening Human-Nature Relationship: A rejuvenated human-nature relationship is essential. This involves nurturing experiences, interaction, and connection with nature. This connection and interaction with nature become even more critical for the younger generation to counter Shifting Baseline Syndrome (SBS). Gaston et al. (2018) defined SBS as the gradual change in the accepted norms for the condition of the natural environment due to a lack of experience, memory, or lack of knowledge or information about past conditions.
  • Educational Transformation: The urgent need for environmental education cannot be overstated. By integrating mandatory environmental studies into global curricula, we equip future leaders, policymakers, and citizens with the knowledge and tools to address the complex challenges of our era. This transformational shift ensures that environmental consciousness becomes an intrinsic part of every decision-maker’s toolkit.


A photo of a sapling by Oskari Manninen

Above: A sapling takes root in a forest. Image Credit: Oskari Manninen

Today, the urgency of these actions has heightened. The evidence is irrefutable, glaring, and unequivocal – from escalating climate change impacts to unprecedented biodiversity loss, the planet is sending distress signals. Wildfires continue to ravage various parts of the world. The need for decisive action has become ever more urgent. The unprecedented hurricane season fuelled by oceanic temperatures to the dramatic Greenland heatwave and ice sheet melt (Arctic Risk Platform, 2023) are particularly alarming.

However, the opportunities for positive change are equally profound. Fundamental shifts are needed – binding commitments, nurturing our bond with nature, and embedding environmental urgency in education. The stakes are higher than ever, and the time for ‘Nature Action is now or never’ given that the collapse of the natural ecosystem is an ‘act-now-or-perish situation.’

Patrick Oko Quaye is a RENEW PhD student in management studies, working with RENEW Theme 4. Business and Finance Decision-makers.

Banner image: Mike Benna. Unsplash

University of Exeter logo National Trust logo NERC logo