VIRTUAL SCIENCE-POLICY FORUM IDENTIFIES KEY BIODIVERSITY KNOWLEDGE GAPS AND
PRIORITIES FOR SCIENCE-POLICY RESEARCH
Montreal, 23 April 2021 – The virtual sessions of the joint fifth Science-Policy Forum for Biodiversity and the eighth International Conference on Sustainability Science closed today with participants identifying key biodiversity knowledge gaps and priorities for science-policy research, needs for capacity building, and opportunities for increased technical and scientific cooperation.
Key points identified during the sessions include:
• Protected areas can play a big role in stopping the spread of zoonotic diseases.
• Forest Restoration can decrease transmission risk of zoonotic diseases, however, depending on how it is done, it can also increase the risk of some diseases.
• Investments in nature, including halting land-use change, supporting restoration and making food systems nature positive, are key to preventing next pandemic.
• 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.
• Viable biodiversity-based solutions for sustainability already exist and new solutions still can be developed based on new technologies and local context.
• A culture of data sharing and attribution, capacity building and resource mobilization are needed to generate the information needed to implement and track the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.
• There is a need to reduce/eliminate misalignment between policies on renewable energy expansion and biodiversity conservation.
• Digital technologies can facilitate mechanisms such as information-sharing, transparency, interconnectivity, value maximization and automation to alleviate challenges in the woody biomass supply chain as a nature-based solution.
• Renewable energy can create context-specific trade-offs, considering that renewable energy installations, ancillary infrastructure, and upstream/downstream activities could affect biodiversity through multiple mechanisms. Important to delineate and conceptualize trade-offs between biodiversity and renewable energy in a comprehensive manner.