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The Post 2020 Biodiversity Framework – A Discussion with Basile Van Havre

 

“The water people drink in New York City is not filtered. It’s coming straight from an ecosystem called the Catskill Mountains. Can you imagine the cost of building from scratch a water treatment plan that would be replacing that natural ecosystem? It would be huge,” says Mr. Basile van Havre, Co-Chair for the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Open-Ended Working Group for a Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.

Join BMO’s Michael Torrance and Mr. Basile van Havre as they discuss the Pre- and Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, what functions it serves, the goal of COP15, the importance of biodiversity protections for countries and the potential impacts if the world fails to act.

In this episode:

  • The five direct and indirect drivers of biodiversity loss

  • How the big difference from the pre-2020 to post-2020 framework is the goal to be very transparent, showing if progress is being made at the national and global level

  • Examples of how we’re not taking advantage of services given to us by nature



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Basile van Havre:

The water people drink in New York City is not filtered. It's coming straight from an ecosystem called the  Catskill Mountains. Can you imagine the cost of building from scratch a water treatment plant that would be replacing that natural ecosystem? That would be huge. So that's one example of how we're not accounting in our system very well the service given to us by nature.

Michael Torrance:

Welcome to Sustainability Leaders. I'm Michael Torrance, chief sustainability officer with BMO Financial Group. On this show, we will talk with leading sustainability practitioners from the corporate, investor, academic, and NGO communities to explore how this rapidly evolving field of sustainability is impacting global investment, business practices, and our world.

Speaker 3:

The views expressed here are those of the participants and not those of Bank of Montreal it's affiliates or subsidiaries.

Michael Torrance:

Today I'm speaking with Basile van Havre. He is co-chair of the Convention on Biological Diversity's Open-Ended Working Group for a Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework. Basile has over 27 years of experience working in Canada’s Environment Department. In addition to his current work as lead for Canada's CBD focal point, he was formerly director general of Biodiversity for the Government of Canada and has served as chair of the CBD discussions on Indigenous Knowledge and Repatriation. He's also served as co-chair of the International Joint Commission on Great Lakes Water Quality and as director at the Meteorological Service of Canada. Basile, can you first of all tell me about your journey? How did you come to be the co-chair of the Working Group for the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework via the Government of Canada?

Basile van Havre:

So, as you said in the intro, I spent most of my career in the federal government, in the Government of Canada. I came to the biodiversity field about 15 years ago and was asked to manage some of the international processes. And as we knew, we were going to go into the negotiation of that 10 year cycle. Canada argued that we wanted to have a process of negotiation that was driven by the parties. And as a leader, I worked hard on getting that done and other parties, all the other signatories to the convention were exactly the same.

Basile van Havre:

So we were successful and at the end, then people were saying, "Okay, we got it. We need two people to drive that." And in the room, all the looks turned to me. And they said, "Okay, well, we'd like you to do it." And then on the developing country sides they identified Francis Ogwal as a co-chair. So that's how I got to get what was initially a two year mandate and with COVID like many people, it ended up being a little bit longer, probably going to be a four year mandate now.

Michael Torrance:

So for the audience that may not be familiar with exactly what the global biodiversity framework is. Can you tell us about your current work as co-chair of that Working Group for the Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework and maybe just situate the audience in terms of what is that, why is it happening and what are you actually working on?

Basile van Havre:

So let's start from the Rio conference where three convention were decided and your audience will be familiar with the UN convention on climate, UNFCCC, but there was two other convention decided at that time, the Convention on Biological Diversity and convention against desertification. So I'm working with the Convention on Biological Diversity, which is a convention that sets objectives. And it works by 10 year cycle. So there was one cycle with one playing from 2000-2010 one, from 2010 to 2020, which is called the Aichi Targets. And basically what we're doing now is we're negotiating a set of goals and targets for the period 2020-2030.

Basile van Havre:

So basically this is a convention that is not about implementing those goals. It sets targets, and most of those targets are implemented at the national level by national governments or in the case like for Canada, subnational governments at the provincial level. And then basically there is a number of other sister convention that implements specific targets related to chemicals, related to the trade of endangered species, et cetera. So basically what I'm doing at the moment is working with 194 parties to set up some targets that would get us to the result we're looking for. That vision of living in harmony with nature and basically halting the cause of biodiversity loss.

Michael Torrance:

So there's a lot to unpack there. Maybe we'll just start, you've talked about the Rio output, one of them being convention on biodiversity. Can you just explain for the audience what the convention on biodiversity is and what purpose does it serve?

Basile van Havre:

So basically there was a realization at the Rio meeting that we needed to work together as a global community to address some of the environmental challenge. On one side, there was this climate change and the climate change convention that is setting up some goals for the reduction in greenhouse gases, in an atmosphere with the aim of addressing the challenge of climate change.

Basile van Havre:

On the biodiversity side, there is a number of causes of biodiversity. And we have a scientific body that is also a parallel to the climate structure, which is called the International Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service that identify five direct drivers of biodiversity loss, and we can get into those. And then a number of indirect drivers of biodiversity loss that are also very relevant. But basically what we're trying to do is sending some action to ensure that not only do we restore biodiversity where it's needed, but that we ensure that it is there for the long term.

Basile van Havre:

Practically, what does that mean? It means that we are ensuring that there is food on the table on a global basis. So we're fortunate to live in countries where there is very good conditions for growing a number of commodities. And we're living in the world where they're going to be an increase in population. So how are we going to be reconciling all that? How on one side, we're going to have a nature system that is effective and works, and as well as have a productive one that enable to meet people needs?

Basile van Havre:

So this is that very complex equation that we are going to need to keep, where on one side we want a product we want to protect, we want to have water we can drink, air we can breathe, wetland that protect us from severe weather events. But at the same time we also want to have a productive nature that provide us with meat where it's needed with grain like wheat and fish and generally food and shelter and fiber that are needed for a growing population with changing needs.

Michael Torrance:

And so the convention on biodiversity, if I'm understanding, sort of sets the overarching framework for this kind of thinking? And is it right to say that the global biodiversity framework is sort of a support structure for the convention? And can you explain how they interact with one another?

Basile van Havre:

You're absolutely right. So basically the convention sets among the 20 to 30 article, the way people are working together. And it sets the notion that there would be a framework with a bunch of targets, but the convention itself does not set those targets. It does not say we are going to be protecting so many percent of our land, or we are going to be having such reduction in the plastic debris that are felting [inaudible 00:10:21]. That is set in the framework. So the framework will establish some goals over a shorter period of time, which is that 10 year cycle. And it would say, for example, one goal that is been endorsed at the federal level and by several province, that notion of protecting 30% of our land or conserving it.

Basile van Havre:

So basically making decision on what type of activity can take place in what part of the land. So that is the kind of detail targets that find its way in the framework versus the rules and the way we are going to be organizing ourself, which is in the convention. The convention will say, there will be a conference of the parties every two years, there will be budget. People will work by consensus. We're going to be limiting votes to issues of naming senior officials and things like that. So all the way we work together.

Michael Torrance:

And I've mentioned Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, and we'll get into that. It's I think what we'll be coming forward very soon. Was the previous framework, you said it's on a 10 year cycle, was that a 2010 framework?

Basile van Havre:

Correct. Correct. And the 2010 to 2020 called as the Aichi Targets after the region in Japan, where that conference took place, it was in the city of Nagoya in Japan, and that's the Aichi Prefectures. And then there was a set of 19 targets at the time. And some of your audience may have heard about the targets of 17% of protection on land and 10% at sea.

Michael Torrance:

Maybe you can tell me. So the Aichi Targets, what were the types of targets that they talked about? And then what was the journey from there to now?

Basile van Havre:

The journey has been a difficult one. Let's start from a very clear message where the diagnostic is that not a single target was fully achieved. And we were all very careful. It is not about the responsibility of the people that work before us, but they set some very ambitious targets. What we call aspirational target. That were set very far well ahead of the technical capacity or the capacity of the organization at that point in time. There was also very few targets that were measurable and perhaps less attention was paid to the notion of performance indicators and system to measure performance.

Basile van Havre:

And another thing is by and large, those targets were seen as the responsibility of the ministries of the environment in each of the countries globally. And the rest of the government and the rest of society was not that much engaged. I think what is very different now is that we're seeing a very clear call for a framework that is open to all entities of our society. Not only the ministry of the environment, but the whole government engagement into that. Not only the whole government, but the whole society including productive sectors, citizens around the world.

Basile van Havre:

So we're trying to build a system where at the core there is mandatory responsibility for states, but around that core, there is room for engagement by many others. We're totally thrilled to see how the financial sector globally has been engaging in this. And I think we're benefiting a lot about some of the lesson learned and the wave that has been taken on by climate. There was kind of more than 80 financial institution that made a [inaudible 00:14:12]. I think those institution manage 11 trillion dollars worth in asset and that's a huge push behind us. And we've learned a lesson and we've watched very carefully what happened with the Paris Agreement, which was driven by government, but could not have happened with a very strong push coming from business and private sector finance and were witnessing that now. So one of the key difference today is we're being pulled by a number of actors instead of having to push governments.

Michael Torrance:

I was on a panel this morning actually, it was related to the conventional biodiversity and the topic was mainstreaming of biodiversity. And it kind of sounds like that concept is what you're referring to. Can you maybe give me your definition of mainstreaming or how you think that relates to the work that the framework is setting out?

Basile van Havre:

So I talked a bit earlier about the work of the science and the five direct drivers of biodiversity loss, but there are kind of direct cause the change in the use of the land, the impact of climate change, the impact of invasive alien species. So those are part of the direct drivers. What is the indirect drivers is mainstreaming, is how do we factor biodiversity in decision we make? So to take an example from the public sectors, how does infrastructure investment decisions are made? Do you decide to build what we call gray infrastructure, such as a dam to protect the city from the impact of severe weather. Although you decide to create green infrastructure, which is the Greenbelt around Toronto or those kind of wetland that you'll have around cities that are actually providing both a direct benefit in term of protecting an urban community from the impact of sever weathers, but also biodiversity and climate change outcome as well.

Basile van Havre:

So that's one example of how you mainstream biodiversity into a decision making. In private sector, you have many decisions. So talking about finance, how do you factor into your investment decision, the risk associated with biodiversity? If you're looking at investing into agriculture operation in part of the world where it's linked with deforestation, how long will that entity be able to operate in a successful way? Is that going to be five years? Is it going to be 20 years? So having proper description of the risk you're taking is enabling you to have the appropriate decision in term of how you reflect that risk and the interest rate you will be expecting from that venture.

Basile van Havre:

Practically, let me add to that, when you look at the 21 target and the current proposal of the framework, there is three targets related to mainstreaming and one relate to the role of governments in the decision they made that range from public accounts and how they reflect nature in public accounts, all the way to environmental assessment and financial flows. The second targets is more focused on the role of business and how they're making their own operational decisions and investment decision. And the third one is around individual choice like you and me, when we go to a supermarket, we get a choice to be able to buy a certain product or another and that's decision that has an impact down the line to the way it is produced and processed and distributed.

Michael Torrance:

And so you mentioned the 21 targets, was that in relation to the 2010 framework, what you've just described, the different roles? Or is that what you're discussing in the Post-2020 Framework?

Basile van Havre:

That's all about the post and the negotiation taking place. So what I'm discussing and relating to you is the last negotiation drafts. And that's what, one of my role together with Francis in term of what we do is we prepare those negotiation draft, trying to reflect the best we can what we heard in the previous negotiation session and providing some avenues for discussion. So we are going to get together in-person after two years and on the table will be that what is so-called draft one with those 21 targets. And that would what the path these negotiators will take on and work from.

Michael Torrance:

Okay. So maybe before we get to the post 2020 work, I'll just close off a couple things that you said. So one, you talked about directed and indirect impacts on biodiversity. Maybe if you could take a moment to just explain what you mean by that?

Basile van Havre:

Sure. So, so basically that's a terminology that we've adopted from our scientific group called the International Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service, which is kind of the international body that give us the initial scientific assessment. And then basically they have identified five direct drivers of biodiversity loss. And then basically, if we look at those, the first one is how we've been changing the way we use land and sea.

Basile van Havre:

So you can imagine that across the world, there is many places that have been converted from their natural habitat to either place where there is urban dwelling or where there is some level of agriculture or deforestation for forestry. So all kind of different practice, some of which provide certain level of biodiversity and biodiversity service. So if you have a sustainably managed forestry, like many are in Canada, you do have a benefit. It's not the same one that a virgin all girls forest, but it does have one level of value. Others like deforestation in part of the tropical forest have very little value, so that's one.

Basile van Havre:

The second one is unsustainable exploitation. And I'm sure you heard about some of the fishery practice in part of the world that are leading to a severe problem in term of some population of Marine species. Third one, obviously climate change and the ranking of those values. The three first one are changing a little bit, whether you're on land or in sea, and whether you're talking about them today or in 2050 or 2100, but climate change does have an impact on biodiversity and we know that every day.

Basile van Havre:

And then pollution, runoff from a pesticide. So the point here is that pesticides are useful practice for increasing the productivity of agriculture. The problem is the runoff of pesticide that goes outside of the field into the environment. Nutrient, same thing, and then plastic debris. So those are the three top priority pollution, but there are others. Invasive alien species is also a problem. We've seen some species causing some significant damage, both in term of terrestrial or vegetative species, but also Marine ones. You heard about zebra mussels. So those are the direct cause.

Basile van Havre:

The indirect cause is where does that come from? So you're talking about demographics and social cultural factor. Most of the population has been progressing and people are being lifted out of poverty and that's a very good thing. With that come an increased demand for meat. Meat is a protein that require a lot of land in term of all the land you need to produce the food for the species that are used for meat. So how are we going to be managing that? Are we going to be using kind of a Western style of development or a more of an Asian style of development that's one thing?

Basile van Havre:

Economy and technology is also a factor, both can be a positive one and a negative one. If you look at the role of trade, some of the trade that may not be factoring the full value of the environment impact may be detrimental, but some of the trade can equally be very positive. I was getting a presentation from a scientist that does modeling and he is looking at where should we locate food production over time? If you eliminate trade and you look at a model where you produce food exactly where it's needed, that has a very high impact on biodiversity because you need more land and if you were producing it in the most efficient location and you trade, you transport the food from where it's produced to where it's needed.

Basile van Havre:

As an example, we're projecting large increase in population in Africa. And if you look at Sub-Saharan Africa, if you're trying to produce all the food needed in Togo, that's going to be very difficult and require a lot of land. But if you're using production set in better place in the Southern part of the continent or elsewhere around the years in Canada or in south America, that may be a lot more efficient from a land perspective. So that's another one.

Basile van Havre:

Institution and governance, obviously, as you can imagine, all that is based on having some institution in place where the resources that are provided are directed where they should be. And then there is effective ways of making sure that resources are put to good use, which is unfortunately not the place everywhere. And then finally a big one conflicts and epidemics. In my work as a wildlife manager in Canada over the time those responsibility, I think the notion of health, the health of wildlife as well as human health has grown from being a minor concern to something that was eating a good sort of my time.

Basile van Havre:

So [inaudible 00:24:46] we're seeing that epidemics both in term of the impact of epidemics on species, but also how do we manage biodiversity and wildlife species in term of protecting human health has becoming increasingly and increasingly importance. Conflicts, obviously both conflicts have negative, but also some positive aspect on biodiversity. One of the very best protected conservation area in Korea is the military zones between the north and the south

Michael Torrance:

That's fantastic background. So now we're becoming out of the first 10 year global biodiversity framework. There's work on the next 10 year plan, which is called the Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework. And you've mentioned the meetings that are going to be held around that topic. COP-15 is I think what it's referred to as. So what do you expect to see coming out of COP-15 and in particular, what role do you see for the private sector?

Basile van Havre:

So what we want to see at the end of that, is a global package. And a global package will have a number of goals that express the vision we have in measurable terms. Then we step those down into measurable terms for 2030 and then we have 21 action targets. Together with that, which will be extremely important, is a package of resources. As you can imagine, it's very easy for developed countries to come to the table and have a good idea of how much it's going to cost them to implement those and have a negotiation in terms of what they can afford and what they can accomplish. It's a different game for developing countries, which are dependent on investments coming either directly from states or from other financial actors.

Basile van Havre:

So there is that equation between the ambition we want at the global level and the means that we give ourself. And certainly is a change in the way we are going to be managing progress. There is a very clear request to have a stronger and more robust planning, reporting, and review system. So a big difference with this package from the last one we hope, is the fact that we are going to have a set of agreed performance indicators and agreed way to report on those elements. So a very transparent way to show if we're making progress or not at the national and global level.

Basile van Havre:

Now, the second part of your question is what does that mean for business? Half of the global economic activities is depending on biodiversity one way or the other either the very easy part is the agrifood systems. And we're fortunate to have organization in Canada that are being very active in this field. Loblaws is one, McCain is another one, and then there is others. And I think what business wants is they want to see some very clear targets in term of protecting and ensuring that asset that is nature is available for the long term. If we're starting to lose this tool that we're using, this asset we have, which is nature, that we use to produce food and fiber, that's going to be a very big problem in terms of sustainability of those business model. So that's one thing.

Basile van Havre:

The second thing is you want to have some predictability in the regime that surrounds the way we use biodiversity, what are the rules? What's the rule books? One thing we are going to try to do better than for the climate change is to try to work those rule in parallel with the negotiation of the goals. So you should have, by the time we get to China, probably a lot more visibility on how that's that's going to be done. And then finally you are going to have probably more clarity in how you're going to be able to make decision in terms of investments in operation, in terms of maximizing your profitability.

Basile van Havre:

So what I heard very clearly from business at the global level is an interest in making sure they understand the environment into which they're operating. I have not heard once opposition to the type of measures we're taking. What I heard is a very clear message about what is going to be the process to get from the current system to the system we're going to? What are the measures? What are the rules and how can we adapt? So a very clear and reasonable plan. If you allow me to take an example, I'll again, take the example of the agrifood system. So we have a system today that is working well. We all get fat. Some people may not be getting all the nutrition they need but by and large we've accommodated a very significant increase in the wellbeing of people and hundreds of millions of are people getting out of poverty and being fed.

Basile van Havre:

What we're talking about is moving to a system with a lot less risk. The current system has an inherent level of risk. I was talking with colleagues in Europe and they were telling me that sugar beets is no longer going to be viable in France in the next 30 years. That growing wheat in the southern half of Europe is not going to be preventable in the next 50 to a hundred years. So major change in the operation. So there is a need to move the system in a place where it is more predictable and you get better assurance of what's coming up. At the same time we are going to need to be able to feed half a billion people in addition to what we have today and do that in a way that is sustainable.

Basile van Havre:

So it is a massive change and it is a change in which business decision has a central position. We in government can make nice plans, but if those plans are not realistic for you in the private industry and you're not ready and calling for those plans, they are only plans. And I don't think any of us is interested in plans. We're interested in actual change and making sure we're getting to a better future. So I see a model where, my vision and my hope is that when we get to the end of that COP in China, on the stage will not only be minister clapping, but I would like to have business representative, NGO representative, indigenous people representative clapping together and being engaged in the solution.

Michael Torrance:

That would be wonderful. And you've mentioned that there's going to be goals and targets set out in the Post-2020 Framework. This is always an area that I think can be quite helpful if there's a standardized way of thinking about what objectives we should all be aiming for, what represents good performance, what's lagging performance. When you're talking about goals and targets, what do you expect will come out of this process? How granular will it be? And again, maybe just with a pivot to the private sector, what would it mean for biodiversity sustainability objectives for companies?

Basile van Havre:

So that's a question that come very often and I think we're often asked, what's the 1.5 degree for biodiversity? That's a question that often come. That's a very difficult question. There is major difference between biodiversity and climate. And one is that biodiversity encompass many different characteristic, not one. It's very difficult to find a single metric. What my thinking is, is that out of the 21 targets a limited number, maybe five or six, perhaps seven, will emerge as the one that resonate the most with people and with business.

Basile van Havre:

It was very interesting to see a few months ago, Walmart coming out with a commitment and a pledge around restoration, protection, and conservation of habitat expressed in acres. So coming back to that targets of 30% of our land and sea protected and conserve, you can convert that relatively easily into an absolute number. And you can associate with that a target around restoration of degraded habitat. And I think those will be very important targets and very visible one. You may have heard about nature-based solution, which is how biodiversity and nature in general can help with greenhouse gas mitigation and with adaptation.

Basile van Havre:

And there is often the notion that between 30 and 39% in today's condition of the expected targets for greenhouse gas mitigation can be reached through nature based solution. So we're proposing in that draft one that these be expressed into an absolute 10. So it converts to 10 gigatons of carbon or CO2 emission equivalent. And that could be a very useful goal for business to be referring to. So if a business have a greenhouse gas emission reduction and is able to translate that into a certain amount of carbon storage in the ground, if major farm operators may be able to do that. So you can see kind of a crosswalk between the two there.

Basile van Havre:

On the pollution side, reducing nutrient loss and reducing pesticide loss may be objective that private sector may take on. And perhaps if we looked at the indirect drivers reducing waste, I've read some really interesting statistics and metrics coming from the like of McCain in term of the percentage of waste and reducing the percentage of waste they're well below 5% of the tonnage coming in versus what is coming out on the other end in terms of product for sale. So I can imagine that among the 21 targets, there would be five or six that gather the attention of the public and would provide a very useful way to show the progress, show the commitment and be able to report.

Michael Torrance:

Yeah. The [inaudible 00:35:50] climate change and biodiversity, I think is critical because of the focus on climate. And as you've said, there's sometimes a clearer roadmap as to how either government or the private sector should be responding. Biodiversity maybe less so, but a lot of the template of the approach to climate could be used in the biodiversity context and I think you've laid that out well. There's another activity that's happening right now that is also reminiscent of the approach to climate change, the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures, which is the biodiversity counterpart to the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. I'm wondering if you have any relationship to that work, are you following it, and do you have anything that you would like to see coming out that process?

Basile van Havre:

Definitely, I was thrilled to see the TNFD starting. It is co-led by the executive secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Elizabeth Mrema and I am interacting very regular with a number of member of that task force Simon Zadek, et cetera. So once again, I think we're benefiting a lot of the experience of the interest and learning that the financial sector has done with climate. What we're looking for from the TNFD is to provide us with this framework for assessing and measuring the risk associated with biodiversity. And then in turn, enabling the financial sector to take the best decision. And that's another way where I think there is room for coordination and careers between the system.

Basile van Havre:

People in the financial market are making everyday decision and they want to have the easiest possible way of characterizing risk. So we should be trying to provide them with an integrated metrics of risk that would both factor climate and biodiversity at the same time. So we're not there yet. We got to walk before we run, but definitively looking forward to the progress in term of the metrics to see how we can integrate further and make life as easy as possible for the financial markets to reflect the biodiversity risk and hep us and help themself.

Michael Torrance:

Yeah. It'll be fascinating to watch what comes out of it. And BMO is participating in an advisory forum with TNFD and we're proud to do so. So we're keen to see how this could affect both for the private sector, but also even for government and regulators to understand a framework for integrating biodiversity into strategy, governance, risk management, and target setting, et cetera. How would you characterize the importance of biodiversity protections for countries and the potential impacts if it's not adequately managed? I've heard a lot recently about the role of biodiversity in resilience and the role that it plays, ecosystem services you've mentioned, but just from your take, all of the work that you've done, how important is this for nations around the world and what are the implications if we're not successful in the next 10 years?

Basile van Havre:

So let me start by a story, an example. I don't know if your audience would know, but the water people drink in New York City is not filtered. It's coming straight from an ecosystem called a Catskill Mountains. And the way they've been managing that is they have agreement with the farming community around the reservoirs. There is agreement in the way they're going to be managing their farming so there is no leeching out of nutrients or pesticide in that water. Can you imagine the cost of building from scratch a water treatment plant that would be replacing that natural ecosystem? That would be huge. So that's one example of how we're not accounting in our system very well the service given to us by nature.

Basile van Havre:

And that goes for a lot of other service, if you increase your organization and you decrease the capacity of your land to absorb excess rain and we're moving into a period where we're going to see increasing number of torrential rains events, then you have to build bigger rain, sewer system. And retrofitting that into our urban environment is extremely costly. As you can factor that into the decision making, you're in the process of making efficient decisions. So countries that will take into account all those valuable at the national level in terms of how they do land planning, but also at the provincial and regional and local level will be ahead.

Basile van Havre:

So it is just smart business and smart decision making to look after those system that help you in your everyday life and seeing how you can maximize the use of those system. And often what you get in addition to that is that wetland that you've been keeping in term of protecting you from floods is an enjoyable place where you can go fishing, where wildlife is being abundant and that provide a lot of recreational values. So often multiple benefits, some of which you can actually associate and discount with relatively good metrics, others that are more global and that you enjoy in near weed.

Michael Torrance:

Well, this has been a great and far reaching discussion, Basile. As a final thought, what would you say are the key challenges remaining when it comes to biodiversity and managing biodiversity loss globally? And what final thoughts would you like to leave for the audience on that topic and how hopeful are you for the future?

Basile van Havre:

It's fascinating to see how some financial decisions have been made. We've seen an announcement by the Jeff Bezos of this world coming up with 5 billion us dollar to protect and conserve land. That's a very significant investment that is not even coming from government that is coming from philanthropy. We've seen also some very interesting investment coming from countries, UK putting $3 billion, European commission $1 billion. So I am seeing a wave of investment that signal me that we are getting to the point where we can get into those heavy discussions. So I am hopeful. What we need, and I'm fairly confident that the land use issues that famous 30 by 30 will gather quite a bit of support and will be relatively easy to negotiate.

Basile van Havre:

What I would like to leave as a message is that addressing one of the cause of biodiversity loss is good, but it's not enough. We need to have a balance approach across everything. It's like, if you have five leaks in the boat, if you plug one leak, it is not good enough. You need to plug the four others, so that's one of the message. And a message that is specific to the financial community is that tell us what you need. Tell us what kind of language is useful to you. We need your help in terms of you making the decision that help us, but we're happy to help you also. And in order to do that, we need to understand your operating condition and how we can put language in that framework that help you get further down the road where we are together.

Michael Torrance:

Great. Thank you so much Basile for your time today and we'll look forward to watching what comes out of the work of COP-15 and staying engaged on this topic. Thanks for listening to Sustainability Leaders. This podcast is presented by BMO Financial Group. To access all the resources we discussed in today's episode and to see our other podcasts, visit us at bmo.com/sustainabilityleaders. You can listen and subscribe free to our show on Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast provider, and we'll greatly appreciate a rating and review and any feedback that you might have. Our show and resources are produced with support from BMO's marketing team and Puddle Creative. Until next time, I'm Michael Torrance. Have a great week.

Speaker 3:

The views expressed here are those of the participants and not those a Bank of Montreal, it's affiliates or it's subsidiaries. This is not intended to serve as a complete analysis of every material fact regarding any company, industry, strategy, or security. This presentation may contain forward looking statements. Investors are cautioned not the place undue reliance on such statements as actual results could vary. This presentation is for general information purposes only and does not constitute investment, legal, or tax advice, and is not intended as an endorsement of any specific investment product or service. Individual investors should consult with an investment tax and or legal professional about their personal situation. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

 

Michael Torrance Chief Sustainability Officer

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