Operationalising the Action Agenda for Nature and People: workshop report

PBL co-organised an international workshop to explore how the 'Action Agenda for Nature and People' of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) could practically be developed and implemented. It produced valuable recommendations to make the Action Agenda contribute to a renewal of global biodiversity governance.

Encourage commitments to conserve biodiversity

At COP-14 of the CBD, countries agreed to encourage state and non-state actors to develop biodiversity commitments that contribute to the achievement of CBD objectives and the development of the post-2020 biodiversity framework.

Furthermore, the 'Sharm El-Sheikh to Beijing Action Agenda for Nature and People' was launched.

The 'Action Agenda for Nature and People' has the explicit aim to catalyse actions from all sectors and stakeholders in support of biodiversity conservation and its sustainable use. Countries have supported biodiversity commitments by both states and non-state actors, it has however yet to become clear what an 'Action Agenda for Nature and People', prior to COP-15 and as part of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, could actually look like and what it would entail in practice.

Potential for online platform

The Action Agenda urgently needs to be recognised worldwide as an important opportunity to showcase the many activities for biodiversity in society, and to incentivise stakeholders to take up new commitments for biodiversity and accelerate short term action. Political leadership and broad support from society for the Climate Action Agenda played an important role for reaching the Paris Agreement. The Action Agenda for Nature and People could and should play a similar role for reaching an ambitious post-2020 global biodiversity framework. As a first step a platform (see link below) has been launched by the secretariat of the CBD on which commitments can be made.

Strong coalitions and smart collaboration with existing agendas and platforms are needed, considering the short time left until CBD COP 15. This means, first of all, that the narrative for the Action Agenda needs to be further developed, including explaining its priorities, functions and purposes, and widely communicated. Building on and collaborating with already existing platforms and networks the Action Agenda can align the expectations of different actors towards change (and attract new ones). In the workshop valuable suggestions for the content and form of the online platform were  discussed.

Interest of non-state actors still needs to be raised

Non-state actors have to see that there is much to gain from being part of this societal mobilisation, and much to lose if one is not a part of it. In the short-term – prior to COP-15 – the Action Agenda can fulfil fundamental strategic functions in stimulating a positive political momentum, contribute to catalysing a groundswell of actions for biodiversity and support an ambitious agreement in Kunming in 2020. In this way it can contribute to making the post-2020 framework a truly ‘global deal for nature’, beyond the inner circles of the CBD.

Workshop results

The workshop was organised by PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency in collaboration with the Netherlands Ministries of Agriculture, Nature and Food; Infrastructure and Watermanagement, the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Institute of Environmental Studies (IVM) at Free University Amsterdam and the World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC). It brought together 30 international and national policy makers, stakeholders and experts.

The report synthesizes the rich discussions that occurred during the workshop, gives a summary of the expert and stakeholder presentations and provides an executive summary of the wFtorkshop discussions and it provides recommendations on the way forward for the Action Agenda.


M.T.J. Kok, C. Bliss, A. Rankovic


Publication title
Operationalising the Action Agenda for Nature and People: workshop report
Publication date
22 May 2019
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