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Protecting the planet and building resilience
The 2030 Agenda is rooted in the idea that human development and wellbeing cannot be achieved without simultaneously safeguarding and investing in nature — otherwise development gains will be short lived and unequally distributed. Biodiversity loss, land and forest degradation and climate change, and more frequent and intense natural hazards, among other, are threatening the planet and human life and wellbeing.  Actions to advance economic and social development need to address these threats and build resilience, including through sustainable consumption and production practices and accounting for the true value of nature.

The past decade—including the COVID-19 crisis—has revealed the systemic nature of risk and the cascading impact of disasters, crossing economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development and affecting countries in all corners of the globe. The natural environment is humanity’s first line of defence against hazards of all kinds, and nature-based solutions (NBS) enable us to protect and work with nature to build resilience and reduce risks at all scales.  These concerns are addressed directly in SDGs 12, 13, 14, and 15, but they also animate the entire Agenda, including health, food security and economic growth and livelihoods. The current session will highlight opportunities, innovation and solutions to safeguard the planet, managing risk and building resilience.

Proposed guiding questions:

  • What are the fundamental systems transformations needed to halt nature degradation, reverse loss and manage risk, while eradicating poverty, ensuring food security for a growing population, including women and girls, securing livelihoods and promoting resilience? How can we scale up the use of nature-based solutions to achieve these transformations? How can we promote sustainable consumption and production?
  • How can the public and the private sector work better together to manage disaster risk across systems, in line with the Sendai Framework, and to protect the global environmental commons? What tools are instrumental towards this aim?
  • What does the COVID-19 crisis reveal about the human-nature relationship and systemic risk creation? How can nature-based solutions contribute to a post-COVID-19 economic and social recovery that is more sustainable, equitable and resilient?
  • How can we redirect financial flows and direct recovery efforts to create better outcomes for people, prosperity and planet? Which nature-related investments should the international community prioritize in the next 1-2 years?
  • How can we increase efforts to combat climate change as we respond to COVID-19? 


  •   H.E. Ambassador Munir Akram, Pakistan, Vice President of ECOSOC  


  • Mr. Shaun Tarbuck, CEO of the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF) 

Resource persons:

  • H.E. Ms. Adjany Costa, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Environment, Angola
  • Ms. Sandra Diaz, Co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)

Lead discussants:

  • Mr. Takeuchi Kazuhiko, President of the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) and Project Professor of the Institute for Future Initiatives (IFI), University of Tokyo, Japan
  • Mr. Theo De Jager, President, World Farmers' Organisation (Farmers Major Group)

Followed by interactive discussion


  • H.E. Ms. María Claudia García, Vice Minister of Environment acting as a Minister in charge, Colombia
  • H.E. Ms. Eva Svedling, State Secretary at the Ministry of Environment, Sweden
  • H.E. Ms. Kitty Sweeb, Chair of the Sixteenth Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF16), Permanent Representative of Suriname to the UN
  • Ms. Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Executive Secretary of Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity
H.E. Ms. Adjany Costa
Minister of Culture, Tourism and Environment, Angola
H.E. Ms. Adjany Costa

Minister of Culture, Tourism and Environment, Angola

Ms. Adjany Costa, is the Minister of Culture, Tourism and Environment of the Republic of Angola since March 2020.

Ms. Costa is member of the Freshwater Conservation Subcommittee of the IUCN, since January 2018.

Was the Angola Country Manager for the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness project from 2017 to 2019 and, was the Assistant Director for the same project from 2016 to 2017. Having also worked as Independent Researcher and independent consultant in Angola and abroad.

Minister Costa is a DPhil student in Zoology at WildCRU, University of Oxford since October 2019, has a M.Sc. Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from a Joint Erasmus Mundus Double Degree and a B.Sc. in Biology by the Agostinho Neto University, Angola.

Ms. Adjany Costa was honered and awarded as follows:

  • 2019 Decoration by the Angolan President: Angolan Order of Civil Merit of the First Degree (Gold Medal)

  • 2019 United Nations Young Champion of the Earth for Africa

  • 2019 Conservation Award for the Lusophony countries

  • National Geographic 2019 Rolex Explorer of the Year (NGOWP Team)

  • Angola Golden Generation 2018

  • Angolan Golden Globe for Excellency 2018

  • National Geographic 2017 Emerging Explorer

Mr. Kazuhiko Takeuchi
President, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, Japan
Mr. Kazuhiko Takeuchi

President, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, Japan

Kazuhiko Takeuchi graduated from the Department of Geography, the University of Tokyo in 1974. He obtained M.Agr. and Ph.D. from the Graduate School of Agriculture, the University of Tokyo. He has served as a Lecturer in the Faculty of Science, Tokyo Metropolitan University; an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Agriculture, a Professor in the Asian Natural Environmental Science Center, and a Professor in the Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Science at the University of Tokyo; and as Director and Professor, Integrated Research System for Sustainability Science (IR3S) at the University of Tokyo. He also served as a Vice-Rector and Senior Vice-Rector at United Nations University from 2008 to 2016 and as an Assistant Secretary-General at the United Nations from 2013 to 2016. Since 2016, he has served as a Senior Visiting Professor at the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS). He has been Director and a Project Professor of IR3S at the University of Tokyo since 2017. He took up the position of Chair of the Board of Directors, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) in July 2017.

Prof. Takeuchi specializes in landscape ecology, landscape planning, and sustainability science. He engages in research and outreach activities on creating eco-friendly environments for a harmonious coexistence of people and nature, especially focusing on Asia and Africa. Recently, he has been working toward establishing a global foundation for developing the field of sustainability science aiming to build a sustainable society. He is deeply involved in the SATOYAMA initiative, aiming at the restoration and revitalization of socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes around the world, and Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) initiated by FAO.

Mr. Shaun Tarbuck
CEO, International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF)
Mr. Shaun Tarbuck

CEO, International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF)

Shaun joined the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF) in 1995 and was appointed Chief Executive in 2005. He has overseen the growth of the organisation from 65 members in 1995 to 200 members in 70 countries today. The mutual sector represents 27% of the global insurance market with USD1.5 trillion in premiums and assets in-excess of USD9 trillion. The mutual industry has 1 billion policyholders and has grown by 30% in the last 10 years (industry growth is 17%) with the ICMIF members growing by 40%. ICMIF’s current four-year strategy is to help member organisations achieve their strategic goals and sustainably grow in their markets by leveraging the knowledge, competencies and experience of ICMIFs global network and representing the sectors interests to key stakeholders.

Shaun developed the ICMIF manifesto titled ‘Protecting Lives and Livelihoods’ in 2014 and as a result has established working relationships with key global policymakers in areas where ICMIF members need to be represented or are leading the way, such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); climate change; disaster risk resilience; poverty alleviation; economic growth; responsible investing; governance; sustainable development and regulation/legislation.

He joined the G20 and B20, taskforces in 2014 in the Australian presidency and was instrumental in setting up the first G20 Insurance Summit in Argentina in 2018 as well as getting mutual insurers mentioned in 3 of the recommendation papers. At one stage ICMIF had 5 representatives on B20 taskforces.

Shaun has been involved with the United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda since the beginning. He spoke at the UN General Assembly in 2014 on responsible investing as the insurance industry spokesperson where industry commitments were made prior the three Global UN agreements in 2015 starting with the UNDRR Sendai Agreement, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) launch in September and culminating in the Paris Climate Change Agreement in December at the COP21. Shaun spoke at each of these events. He has subsequently spoken at all the biennial UNDRR Conferences and many other UN designated events mostly on the role that mutual insurers can and do play in the UN 2030 Agenda. He has been instrumental in ICMIFs three global partnerships with the UN Development Program (UNDP), UN Disaster Risk and Resilience (UNDRR) and Accounting for Sustainability (A4S) that were agreed in 2019. He is currently involved with developing the Insurance SDGs (iSDGs) with the UNEP the Net Zero Alliance and COP26 now in 2021 in Glasgow.

Shaun is a founding member of the Insurance Development Forum (IDF) (April 2016) and is an ex-officio member of its Steering Group. The IDF brings together insurance industry leaders with global policymakers from the UN, World Bank and FSB in a unique public private and mutual partnership to ensure insurance related issues and solutions are discussed at the highest level. He was the Co-Chair of the IDF Microinsurance working group until 2019.

Shaun regularly speaks at conferences and to mutual leaders on mutual advantages, sustainability strategies, governance and innovation in mutuals, as well as other strategic issues affecting the mutual and cooperative insurance sector and the wider insurance sector. He writes leadership articles and blogs and is regularly interviewed by the global insurance media in both written and video format. He has also contributed to several research projects on the sector both internal and external.

He is a board member of the Climate Bonds Initiative that promotes Green Bonds and is a board member of Regis Mutual Management that sets up and runs new mutual insurers in the UK and Australia. In his spare-time he is a Director of the Dunham Trust an affiliation of several local primary schools.

Shaun qualified as a chartered accountant in 1987 and had various roles in the UK and Bermuda before joining ICMIF. He is married to Francesca with four adult children. He enjoys most sports but particularly rugby union – a sport he has played, coached and refereed.

Mr. Theo De Jager
President, World Farmers' Organisation (Farmers Major Group)
Mr. Theo De Jager

President, World Farmers' Organisation (Farmers Major Group)

Dr. De Jager is president of the World Farmers’ Organisation and former president of the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU, 2013-2018) and of the Pan African Farmers Union (PAFO, 2014-2017). He is also chairman of the board of Agri All Africa, a board member of FANRPAN and serves on the board of Agri Limpopo, where he is responsible for land reform, transformation, farmer development and Africa Liaison since 2004.

Ms. Sandra Diaz
Co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)
Ms. Sandra Diaz

Co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)

Sandra is a Professor of Community and Ecosystem Ecology at Córdoba National University, and a senior member of the National Research Council of Argentina. She co-chaired the Global Assessment of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. She is a member of the Academies of Science of Argentina, USA, France, Norway and the Developing World, and Foreign Fellow of the British Royal Society. She has advanced theory and practical implementation of the concept of functional diversity and its effects on ecosystem properties and benefits. She combines her plant ecology studies with interdisciplinary work on how different societies value and reconfigure biological communities and ecosystems.

Intervention by Mission of Thailand
Intervention by Prof. Kazuhiko TAKEUCHI
Remarks by Missio of Chile
Statement by Colombia
Statement by Mission of Romania
Statement by Paraguay [English]
Statement by Paraguay [Spanish]
Statement by Sweden
Statement by UNDRR
Statement Ms Sandra Diaz - IPBES
United Nations