“One planet summit” kicks off in Paris


The “One Planet Summit” devoted to biodiversity, with the aim of relaunching a green diplomacy put on hold by Covid-19 begins on Monday, January 11 in Paris.

About thirty personalities are expected to take part, mainly by visio due to the health crisis.

They include the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the President of the World Bank David Malpass, the heir to the British throne Prince Charles, and the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.

Others are German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the President of Costa Rica Carlos Alvarado, the President of the ECB Christine Lagarde and the head of the WHO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Each participant is expected to present initiatives or make concrete commitments around the four themes of the conference: protection of terrestrial and marine ecosystems; promotion of agro-ecology; mobilisation of funding; and the link between deforestation, species conservation and human health.

A final burning issue as the Covid-19 pandemic illustrates the worrying increase in the number of zoonoses, diseases that pass from animals to humans, particularly due to more frequent contacts between species caused by the destruction of wild habitats.

Paris thus hopes to “bring together climate issues and the preservation of ecosystems,” explains a source at the Elysée Palace. Faced with epidemics and global warming (the year 2020 has just been ranked as the hottest year ever recorded) “the preservation of biodiversity is in some ways our collective life insurance policy”.

However, green diplomacy has fallen behind, with an almost blank year in 2020. As far as biodiversity is concerned, the congress of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the COP15, which aims to establish a global plan to protect and restore the ecosystems essential to humanity by 2050, had to be postponed until the autumn of 2021. On the climate side, COP26 scheduled for Glasgow (Scotland) has also been postponed by one year, hopefully to November 2021.

The “One Planet” therefore aims to “participate in building mobilisation” to make this diplomatic sequence a success by “showing that it is possible to take action to preserve the planet and its biodiversity in a very concrete way”.

Concerning the protection of ecosystems, the summit wants to relaunch the “Coalition of High Ambition for Nature” – headed by France, Great Britain and Costa Rica – with the aim of integrating around fifty countries, each committing to placing 30% of its territory in protected areas.

On the issue of funding for biodiversity, it aims to lead a coalition to devote 30% of public climate funding to “nature-based solutions” (e.g. reforestation). The creation of an alliance of private investors could also be announced.

In the field of agroecology, various projects are expected to be announced. The “One Planet” will also be preceded by an investment forum devoted to the African Union’s “Great Green Wall” programme, which aims to combat desertification around the Sahara. The forum aims to obtain commitments totalling $10 billion. A monitoring mechanism is also to be set up.

And on the issue of the link between biodiversity and health, the “One Planet” says it wants to notably launch a research alliance on the “prevention of the emergence of zoonoses” (Prezode), aimed at federating various existing programmes.