The Fifth Science Policy Forum for Biodiversity and The Eighth International Conference on Sustainability Science

13 Apr 2021

Session 1- Part 2- Breakout Group 2

Enabling conditions for transitioning to zero net habitat loss

(zero net deforestation, land degradation and land use change)

Main points discussed in this session: 

•Integrated land use planning as well as inclusive and responsible land governance, are key enablers of LDN.

•For avoiding, reducing and reversing land degradation an enabling environment which fosters multiple environmental, social and economic benefits is required.

•ZGD and ZND are often conceived as alternatives, but each may be useful at different scales or in different contexts. However, reconciling the two concepts requires at least aligning, if not integrating, public and private governance of supply chains.

•It is critical to address the systemic drivers of biodiversity loss with ambitious targets. The ambition should be that actors go beyond limiting biodiversity loss to supporting restoration and moving towards ‘net gain’ through regenerative practices.

•Taking into account economic actors, sectors and incentives that are most responsible for biodiversity loss. In the context of food systems for example, by redirecting official and unofficial incentives, or adding transparency in land transactions between governments and agribusiness.

•Clarity and specification of the outcome goals and targets in the GBF are still needed. Net outcomes, principles, including for instance the recognition that some losses are unavoidable, while prioritising avoidance, and setting clear limits to counterbalance losses with gains. However, biodiversity is not interchangeable so inappropriate substitutions should be banned.

•An economic balance of the costs (public funds) and revenues of 30% of land in conservation, might be the instrument to provide a new perspective of that target, also contributing to the zero net habitat loss.   

Event Reports  and Videos: 

Session 1: Part 1: Opening Session

Session 1: Part 2: Breakout Group1

Session 1: Part 2: Breakout Group2

Session 2: 

Session 3: Breakout Group 1

Session 3: Breakout Group 2

Session 4:

Session 5:

Event Website


Video: Session1: Part 2: Breakout Group 2

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Short Report


The breakout group chaired by Mr. Joseph Alcamo (University of Sussex) and Ms. Lily Rodriguez (IUBS) focussed on the conditions that will allow the transitioning to zero net habitat loss. Some of the central points discussed by Mr. Barron Joseph Orr (UNCCD), Ms. Izabela Delabre (University of London), Ms. Martine Maron (University of Queensland), Mr. Anthony Waldron (CRI) included: (a) mechanisms of achieving land degradation neutrality (LDN), principles involved in monitoring that could facilitate LDN interventions at local level and the combined roles of science-policy interface, institutional, financial and policy-regulatory elements in creating an enabling environment for LDN; (b) key actions and enabling conditions that support post-2020 GBF to achieve sustainable food production and consumption; (c) practicalities and risks involved in the concept of no net loss in biodiversity offsetting and zero deforestation, existing gaps between action targets and principles that will allow achievement of safe net outcome goals, significance of integrating supply chain governance and certification schemes into state regulatory frameworks; and (d) economic consequences of setting aside 30% of the planet as conservation/protected areas. 

The latter part of the discussion with Mr. Hesiquio Benitez Diaz (SBSTTA) and Mr. Joss Lyons White (Imperial College of London) led to the key questions: Should the emphasis post-2020 GBF be on setting conservation targets or to address drivers of habitat and biodiversity loss? How to emerge with a new equitable model involving indigenous/local people and governances to address biodiversity offsetting? Which of the possible enabling conditions require more weightage and can be prioritised for implementation?


Event short report by By Shivani Krishna and Debapriyo Chakraborty.

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