Restoring and sustaining healthy ecosystems for people and planet: Partnerships to jointly deliver on the environmental dimension of Agenda 2030
Chaired by Sharon Dijksma, Minister for the Environment of the Netherlands and Andrew Steer, President and CEO, World Resources Institute
The main objective of the multi-stakeholder dialogue was to provide an opportunity to Member States, Major Groups and other stakeholders to discuss how multi-stakeholder partnerships for restoring and sustaining healthy ecosystems can contribute to successfully deliver on the environmental dimension of the 2030 agenda and the role of UNEA in catalysing such partnerships.
Opening remarks by Minister Dijksma on the VCA Approach
I am proud to announce that, together with a number of other parties, I will be signing a Letter of Intent immediately after this dialogue. The goal is sustainable land use, under the motto: ‘conserving the planet, hectare by hectare’. And how do we mean to do this? With Verified Conservation Areas.
Let me briefly explain. Preservation of our natural capital must be our guiding light. Sustainable production and consumption are a prerequisite for a sustainable and prosperous future, for all the world’s people.
Verified Conservation Areas are an instrument, a means to an end. They are a voluntary instrument, calling upon civil society actors to set a goal for biodiversity and restoration of ecosystems and to report publicly on progress towards it. No more, and certainly no less. It is rather like the approach to climate change: a register of voluntary pledges, whose implementation can be publicly monitored.
The register’s transparency and accountability are attractive, and not only for investors. They are also a great way of informing and involving stakeholders in a region. This is a rich source of experience to learn from.
The Netherlands has supported the development of this instrument over the past few years. I am pleased that we can now take the next step: forming an international coalition of public and private parties to take practical steps towards implementation.
We aim to expedite matters and put this on a solid foundation. Our goal is to go from 300,000 to a million registered hectares by the end of 2017.