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

Event Reports  and Videos: 

Session 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

23 Apr 2021

Session 5:

Young Scholars and Professionals Session: Ecological Restoration - framing challenges and opportunities

Main points discussed in the session:

•Ecological restoration has a great potential to address a wide set of biodiversity and climate challenges and young scholars and professionals play an important role, particularly in the global south.

•Presently there are calls for rather massive investment in nature’s capacity to capture and store carbon. Given this pressure, we need to ensure that restoration does not just emphasize carbon with the result that in many areas we end up with large monocultures of fast growing trees, clear targets with prioritizing ecosystem integrity and functions, with appropriate safeguards for biodiversity, human rights and rights of indigenous peoples and local communities must be given.

•Nature is deeply intertwined with and influenced by social, economic, and political forces; therefore, nuanced understandings of dynamic people-nature relationships are crucial to inform restoration activities that can support positive ecological outcomes alongside social well-being.

•Urban areas often have the incentives, resources and knowledge enabling local governments to take the lead in developing new innovative methods and technology for successful restoration in challenging severely degraded sites, as well as developing inclusive methods for participatory restoration, incorporating social and cultural dimensions in restoration activities.

Video : Young Scholars and Professionals Session: Ecological Restoration - framing challenges and opportunities

Short Report

Young Scholars and Professionals Session: Ecological Restoration - framing challenges and opportunities

The session chaired by Mr. Thomas Elmqvist (Stockholm University, Sweden) focussed on perspectives from young scholars and professionals of the global south on current ecological restoration initiatives, their limitations and potential solutions. Dr Catarina Jakovac (Wagenigen University, the Netherlands) set the stage by emphasizing on a multicriteria optimization approach to identify priority areas for restoration that maximize benefits and minimize costs. Following this, using a case study on the impact of cacao farming on forests in West Africa, Dr Jean-Marc Kouman (Jean Lorougnon Guédé University, Côte d'Ivoire) recommended facilitation of the restoration processes by excluding intensive agricultural activities, continuous monitoring and a participatory approach. Then, a study from the Latin America and Caribbean cities presented by Dr Sally Torres (Universidad Ricardo Palma, Peru) focussed on integrating ecosystems thinking into urban planning. She outlined multiple gaps in implementing Nature-based Solutions (NbS) in such complex landscapes and suggested the need for a holistic approach through participatory processes. Extending the discussion on urban systems to rivers, Dr Herlin Chien (National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, Taiwan) discussed the role of urban rivers as socio-ecological constructs and highlighted the lack of focus on governance related issues in their restoration. She highlighted one of the major challenges in these systems as a lack of resilient strategies in adapting to changes.

These case studies were followed by a captivating discussion including diverse panel members including Drs Lily Zeng (Yale University, USA), Mirna Fernandez (Global Youth Biodiversity Network, Germany) and Jessica Kavonics (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives-Africa, South Africa). The key points that emerged from the discussion were the significance of focussing on the quality of restoration and diverse ecosystems functions and processes, whilst involving people’s perception and their relationship with nature (participatory methods) in the process and less emphasis on percentage-based restoration targets alone. Extending the discussion to urban areas, panellists highlighted the value of resources, knowledge generation and technologies in supporting the restoration process.


Event short report by By Shivani Krishna and Debapriyo Chakraborty.

23 Apr 2021

SDG Labs - Biodiversity-Solutions for Change

•Viable biodiversity-based solutions  for sustainability already exist and new solutions still can be developed based on  new technologies and local context.

•Solutions proposed by SDG Lab teams:

-Novel cropping system for biodiversity sustainable use and food security (agriculture, value chain, environmental policies), biodiversity digitization including into policy making process (Armenia)

-Biodiversity driven co-designed eco-tourism to support sustainability (Madagascar)

-Conservation of biodiversity and native plant species through traditional agroforestry system for livelihood, water protection and sustainable life (Thailand)

-Biodiversity for homestead windbreak and gardens for the environmental and socio-cultural sustainability (Japan)

-Developing management by considering internal migration with drought to be considered; using biodiversity will support lvelihood and will stop further habitat loss (Uganda)

-Biodiversity of tea species in the garden produce socio-economic and ecological benefits (China)

•There are multiple synergies between SDGs triggered by biodiversity use and conservation at local level that have potentiality to be scaled up to regional and national level. 

Video: Session 5: Young Scholars and Professionals Session: Ecological Restoration - framing challenges and opportunities

Short Report

The session on the biodiversity-based SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) Labs brought together groups from multiple geographical locations and their plan of action in moving forward towards sustainable transformations. Dr Armine Abrahamyan (Armenian National Agrarian University, Armenia) discussed innovative mixed-cropping systems in Armenia and promoting biodiversity data digitization for awareness and better decision making. Adding to the discussion on the importance of awareness, Dr Bixia Chen (University of the Ryukyus, Japan) presented her work from Southern Japan on encouraging home garden food production for food security and on managing trees as windbreaks. This was followed by a discussion on the implementation of ecotourism in coastal regions of Madagascar by Dr Ntsiva Andriatsitohaina (ESSA-Forêts, Université d'Antananarivo, Madagascar).

Following this, Dr Jintana Kawasaki (Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, Japan) highlighted the role of traditional agroforestry systems in Japan for livelihoods and biodiversity conservation. She emphasised the importance of capacity building and creating awareness of these systems.  Similarly, Mr. Jason Lee (Southwest Forestry University, China) suggested the significance of forest-tea ecosystems for livelihoods and biodiversity conservation. Dr Ismael Ocen (Ocean One Social Research Centre, Uganda) stressed the role of pastoralists in habitat conservation and therefore emphasised on protecting their livelihoods during extreme events such as drought. Lastly, the session chair, Dr Marcin Jarzebski (University of Tokyo, Japan) summarised the solutions proposed by the SDG groups.

Event short reports by By Shivani Krishna and Debapriyo Chakraborty.

SDGs Addressed

Video: Closing Session

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