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Green Post Corona Talks: The Biodiversity Crisis
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The Green European Foundation is hosting this year’s edition of the ‘Green Post Corona Talks’ on the topic of biodiversity. Through this series, we hope to expand awareness on this important issue and foster public debate.
The first phase of the COP15 on biodiversity took place in China in October. Despite the urgency and importance of the current biodiversity crisis, there has not been much coverage in the media, nor was there much public debate. Therefore we are hosting this event to foster a public debate around biodiversity.
This series include 4 webinars, each highlighting a different aspect of the biodiversity crisis as well as proposing different solutions, going from the current state of play, the COP15 and EU policies, to Indigenous movements and the connections between biodiversity loss, climate change and the COVID-19-crisis.
About the event
This series of webinars is open to everyone with an interest in biodiversity, to those who wish to learn about this topic and to those who want to restore life on our planet.
In each webinar, three experts in the field will present on the topic, followed by a panel discussion. There will also be the opportunity to ask questions and go into conversation with the speakers.
Webinar 1 (24 January): Declining Biodiversity, International Response, and views on the COP15 on Biodiversity
In the first webinar, we expand on the current state of play: how bad is biodiversity worsening, and how is the international community responding? This talk aims to address the key findings of the 2021 biodiversity COP, as well as the solutions that were proposed. We will also dive into expectations and hopes for the last sessions of the biodiversity COP15 in 2022.
Ignace Schops is a well-known Belgian environmentalist. He is the Director of the Belgian NGO Regionaal Landschap Kempen en Maasland (RLKM), former President of EUROPARC federation – the largest network on natural heritage in Europe – a full member of the EU chapter of the Club of Rome and a full member of the Rewilding Europe Circle.Ignace Schops was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2008, better known as the Green Nobel Prize. Since 2008 he was selected as ASHOKA fellow, a world-leading social entrepreneur.Due to his international work on biodiversity and social entrepreneurship he became an Honorary Doctor at the Hasselt University in 2011. In 2013 he became a member of the Climate Leadership Corps of Al Gore and later that year he was decorated as the “Commander of the Order of the Crown” by the Belgian King Filip. In 2021 he was awarded with the Etion Leadership Award.
Basile van Havre is a Co-Chair for the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Open-Ended Working Group for a Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. He has over 27 years of experience working in Canada’s Environment Department. In addition to being Canada’s CBD focal point, his roles included Director General of Biodiversity and Partnerships and Director of Population Conservation and Management at the Canadian Wildlife Service, Chair of the CITES Elephant working group and CBD Discussions on Indigenous Knowledge and Repatriation, Co-Chair of the International Joint Commission on Great Lakes Water Quality Board, Director at the Meteorological Service of Canada.
Hilde Eggermont is a freshwater biologist by training (PhD and 8 years of postdoc on global change research at Ghent University Belgium). She is the Strategic Coordinator of the Belgian Biodiversity Platform, a national science-policy interface for biodiversity. She is also Chair and Coordinator of Biodiversa+ (the European Biodiversity Partnership) bringing together 74 research programmers and funders and environmental policy actors from 37 European and associated countries, as part of the European Biodiversity Strategy 2030. She also acts Belgian Focal Point for IPBES and as alternate IPBES Bureau Member. Other duties include her role as IUCN Councillor, and Global Director of WCMC Europe. Her main expertise focuses on science-policy interfacing; research programming; and biodiversity policy
Webinar 2 (7 February): Is the EU Biodiversity Strategy the plan we need?
In the second webinar, we inspect the EU’s role in biodiversity matters. Is the EU Biodiversity Strategy the plan we need? Is it realizable and sufficient? What about the proposed EU biodiversity law? How do green NGOs and Green Parties evaluate the EU’s actions?
Hendrik Schoukens is a professor of environmental law at Ghent University and environmental lawyer at the bar of Brussels. He publishes regularly in both the general press as well as in scientific journals on topics such as nature protection, eco-restoration, climate change and environmental impact assessment. He is the author of several books on environmental law and sustainability in Flanders.
Stefan Leiner graduated in Forest Sciences in the University of Munich, Germany. Since he joined the European Commission, he has been dealing with international and EU forest and biodiversity policy issues. He has been the Head of the Nature unit in charge of the EU Birds and Habitats Directives and Natura 2000 and since 2015 he is heading the Natural Capital and Ecosystems Health unit which deals with the development and implementation of the EU Biodiversity Strategy (including the restoration of ecosystems, green infrastructure, business and biodiversity, the EU Regulation on invasive alien species and the EU pollinators initiative).
Riyong Kim is Head of Natural Capital and Ecosystems (NCE) at the EEA. She is responsible for the strategic development of the Agency’s work around biodiversity and ecosystems encompassing condition and trends in land and water environments, natural capital accounting as well as cross-cutting themes around food and production systems. Prior to joining EEA, Riyong led the programme on Decision Metrics and Finance at EIT Climate KIC. This work included developing a systems innovation approach to tackling short-termism and mainstreaming climate in financial markets in the EU. She has worked in environmental and climate policy closely with UN Environment and UNFCCC, and before that, led the work on developing the methodology for capturing environmental and forest resources under the Living Standards Measurement Survey with the UN FAO, CIFOR, and World Bank PROFOR, and for the regional ENPI-FLEG program with IUCN.
Webinar 3 (21 February): Expanding our scope beyond the EU: The role of Indigenous peoples in protecting biodiversity
In this session, we will explore biodiversity issues beyond Europe. Indigenous communities play a crucial role in protecting (and contributing to) biodiversity. While attention to these communities and the role they play in protecting the environment is increasing, they are still all too often ignored in policy-making processes. In this webinar, Indigenous speakers go into dialogue with NGOs protecting nature.
Raktima Mukhopadhyay is the Executive Director of the Indian Institute of Bio Social Research (IBRAD). She has a PhD in Geography and more than 25 years of experience in designing and implementing different action research projects in forest, agriculture, horticulture and water with a focus on the engagement of indigenous communities in India. She has designed training modules for different stakeholders on Participatory Approaches to biodiversity and conducted trainings for the Indian Forest Service and other government department officials. She is also involved in policy dialogues with the senior government functionaries and in capacity building of the indigenous communities for institution building for biodiversity conservation and climate-resilient sustainable livelihood development.
Else Demeulenaere is the Associate Director for Natural Resources, at the University of Guam’s Center for Island Sustainability. She leads a team of biologists and guides students to conduct research on endangered species, ethnobotany, forest and watershed restoration. Else holds a Master’s in Botany (Ecology) from the University of Ghent and a PhD in Biogeography, Ethnobotany, and Policy (Interdisciplinary Studies) from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in a joint program with the University and of Guam. She is an avid advocate for sustainable living and protecting Guam’s bio-cultural diversity. Her research focuses on the biogeography and traditional ecological knowledge of native plant species, social activism, and aims to find policies benefiting the protection of Guam’s ecosystems and its people.
Simangele Msweli is a conservationist with an interest and experience in research, community engagement, youth engagement and policy development. At the African Wildlife Foundation, Simangele serves as the Senior Manager, Youth Leadership Program, where she manages and oversees AWF’s newly established program. She is primarily responsible for the 1) development and implementation of bespoke youth leadership programmes like the Top 100 African Youth Conservation Leaders, 2) unlocking professional opportunities for youth through but not limited to internships and capstone projects, as well as 3) strengthening African youth engagement in the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Daniel Kobei is the Founder and Executive Director of Ogiek Peoples’ Development Program (OPDP), a Kenyan-based NGO working to secure human and land rights of the indigenous Ogiek community and other Indigenous Peoples (IPs) across Kenya and Africa. He represents IPs under the umbrella of the International Indigenous Forum for Biodiversity (IIFB) under the Collaborative Partnership for Wildlife Management (CPW) set by Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD). He is also an IPs human rights defender and has led numerous high-level discussions on IPs in various forums across the world. He led the Ogiek to winning an eight-year legal battle over land and human rights abuses at the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights based in Arusha, Tanzania on May 26, 2017. He has been promoting the restoration of the Mau Forest Complex through Ogiek community involvement as a forest dwelling,hunter-gatherer community.
Webinar 4 (7 March): Biodiversity loss, climate change and the COVID-crisis: connected issues
In the last talk of this webinar series, we’ll look into the connections between biodiversity loss, climate change and the covid-crisis. These are not separate crises, and the solutions cannot be separate either. How can we, therefore, develop policies that provide an answer to all these urgent issues?
Myriam Dumortier is a senior researcher at the Research Institute for Nature and Forests (INBO), focusing on the interaction between agriculture and biodiversity. She is interested in agro-ecological farming and in synergies between farming and nature conservation. She is member of the team Nature and Society. Myriam holds a Master and a PhD in Bioscience Engineering. During the 90’s, she worked in community forestry and rural development in South-Asia. From 2000 to 2010 she worked on the reporting of the state of nature at INBO and from 2010 to 2020 she was a policy officer at the European Commission developing and implementing the EU policy on invasive alien species. In 2020, she re-joined INBO to focus on agriculture. Since 2007 she is also a professor on forest and nature policy at Ghent University.
Mieke Schauvliege is a Member of Parliament for the Flemish Greens (Groens) in Belgium. Her ambition is to combat for a healthy living environment for everyone. The topics she covers are nature, biodiversity, spatial planning, the environment (water, air, soil) and waste policy. Mieke was the first MP to put the perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) scandal in Flanders on the parliamentary agenda. On behalf of the Flemish Greens, she is a member of the parliamentary PFAS-PFOS investigation committee and of the Environment and Agriculture committees. She is a former director of the Parks and Public Gardens Department of the city of Ghent and is a bio-engineer by training.
Snigdha Tiwari is a young environmental and human rights activist from India. She forayed into activism right from school, alongside her father, who himself happens to be an environmental activist and a prominent leader in the famous Chipko movement. Snigdha has been ardently working for myriad causes concerning human rights & environment in India for over a decade. She has been working actively with the first ever registered green party in India (Uttarakhand Parivartan Party) since she turned 18. Prior to that, she was an active member of the Uttarakhand Student Organization, Young Greens of India, whilst also being actively involved with youth movements across the country.
Time: All sessions will take place from 7:30 PM to 9 PM CET
Registration: This is a free event, but requires registration.
Register your participation through this link.
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After the talks, there will be time for Q&A.
This event is organised by the Green European Foundation with the support of Oikos Think Tank and with the financial support of the European parliament to the Green European Foundation.