Infrastructure and Nature

 
© Michel Gunther / WWF

Infrastructure and Nature

The private and public sectors are expected to invest $90 trillion in major infrastructure projects between now and 2030—essentially doubling the amount of infrastructure on Earth and transforming the surface of the planet.

Infrastructure is key to achieving the goals of multiple agreements, including the Paris Agreement, the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The Infrastructure and Nature coalition showcases how we can deliver new and necessary infrastructure while restoring biodiversity, building resilience, and creating a just and carbon-neutral future.

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Event

September

4

2021

Upcoming Event: September 4, 2021

Corridors and Crossings: Mainstreaming ecological connectivity into existing and planned infrastructure

IUCN World Conservation Congress Session

Over the last 30 years, many actors around the world have learned how to avoid or minimize the impacts to ecological connectivity caused by infrastructure – including roads, railways, canals, fences, and energy networks. This session will bring together representatives of government, NGOs, the private sector, and research centres to discuss the importance of mainstreaming biodiversity conservation requirements into infrastructure development that maintain, enhance, and restore ecological connectivity. Participants will learn about existing and innovative practices, hear about experiences and developments around the world, and be inspired to apply the increasing body of global best-practices through their collaborative networks, projects, research initiatives, and legal, policy, and regulatory frameworks.

Speakers: Kate Newman (Vice President, Sustainble Infrastructure and Public Sector Initiatives, WWF); Gary Tabor (Executive Director, Center for Large Landscape Conservation, United States of America); Yannick Autret (Expert recherche transport, énergie et environnement, Ministère de la transition écologique, France); Jodi Hilty (President and Chief Scientist, Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, Canada); Gabriel Oppler (Conservation Associate, Center for Large Landscape Conservation, United States of America); Sandeep Kumar Tiwari (Program Manager, IUCN SSC Asian Elephant Specialist Group, India); Ancuta Fedorca (Researcher, Fundatia Carpati, Romania)

Organized by: Ministère de la transition écologique et solidaire, Center for Large Landscape Conservation

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Upcoming Event

September

5

2021

Upcoming Event: September 5, 2021

Nature-Positive infrastructure—the Wave of the Future

IUCN World Conservation Congress Session

This is the moment. The international community must come together now to grasp the unique opportunity that lies ahead in the next 12 months to catalyze a new wave of nature-positive infrastructure norms and practices. The confluence of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, G20 Quality Infrastructure Investment Principles, and UNFCCC’s nature-based solutions sets the stage for a real sea change. This interactive event will bring together leading representatives of public and private sector institutions working on the future of nature-positive infrastructure to explore the most strategic and efficient options and opportunities for advancing a global path forward.

Speakers: Gilles Kleitz (Director of the Department of Ecological Transitions and Natural Resources, Agence Française de Développement Group); Jennifer Morris (Chief Executive Officer of The Nature Conservancy); Marco Lambertini (Director General of WWF-International); Amy Fraenkel (Executive Secretary of the UN Convention on Migratory Species); Towfiqua Hoque (Senior Infrastructure Finance Specialist at the Global Infrastructure Facility); Eva Mayerhofer (Senior Environment and Biodiversity Specialist at the European Investment Bank)

Organized by: Infrastructure and Nature Coalition

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Upcoming Event

September

6

2021

Upcoming Event: September 6, 2021

Addressing Biodiversity Risk in Infrastructure Investments

IUCN World Conservation Congress session, Post-2020 Partnership Pavilion

Neglecting to fully consider biodiversity risks in lending and investment decisions for infrastructure exposes financial institutions to material financial risks. While more investors are integrating energy efficiency, GHG emissions, air pollution, and physical climate risks into their portfolios, the disclosure and integration of biodiversity is less prevalent. This session will explore the barriers to identifying, measuring, and managing biodiversity-related financial risks in the infrastructure sector and debate what needs to happen to level the playing field for investors who are serious about sustainable infrastructure.

Speakers: Towfiqua Hoque (Senior Infrastructure Finance Specialist at the Global Infrastructure Facility); Eva Mayerhofer (Senior Environment and Biodiversity Specialist at the European Investment Bank); Didier Lainé (Internal Affairs Advisor at Réseau de Transport d'Électricité); Frédéric Bobay (Project Manager at Fin Infra, Direction générale du Trésor); Michael Ridley (Senior Responsible Investment Specialist at HSBC Global Asset Management (UK) Ltd.); and Raphaëlle Vallet (Senior Manager, Climate Policy and Strategy at Macquarie Capital)

Organized by: Infrastructure and Nature Coalition

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Upcoming Event

September

6

2021

Upcoming Event: September 6, 2021

Blowing Up the Barriers: Delivering Sustainable Infrastructure in a Rapidly Changing World

IUCN World Conservation Congress Session

Over $90 trillion in infrastructure investment will be required by 2030 to meet basic service needs, mostly in developing economies. However, poorly planned infrastructure development directly impacts communities and biodiversity and can "lock in" unsustainable choices for future generations. This session will identify actions and approaches to minimize risks and capitalize on the opportunity to influence the development of large-scale, networked, economic infrastructure such as transportation and energy systems. It will feature recent innovations in holistic infrastructure planning and development that consider impacts and benefits for people, nature, and economies. Participants will discuss barriers to effective planning, design, and implementation and opportunities for uptake of solutions, exploring synergies across global agreements (2030 Agenda, Post-2020 CBD Framework, and the Paris Agreement). Insights from this session will inform actions to upscale and mainstream innovation.

Organized by: UNEP-WCMC, WWF, IUCN Business and Biodiversity Programme, UNEP Sustainable Infrastructure Partnership, The Development Corridors Partnership, GIZ, and African Conservation Centre

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Upcoming Event

September

7

2021

Upcoming Event: September 7, 2021

BISON : a Strategic European Project to Mainstream Infrastructure and Biodiversity

IUCN World Conservation Congress session, Post-2020 Partnership Pavilion

BISON is the first EU-funded H2020 Coordination and Support Action project to focus on transport infrastructure and its interactions with biodiversity. Launched in January 2021 for a period of 30 months, BISON aims to set the future European strategic research and deployment agenda on transport infrastructure and biodiversity.

BISON will provide European states and stakeholder tools and recommendations to integrate biodiversity into the design, construction, and operation of infrastructure.

BISON brings together more than 16 countries and 39 partners across Europe.

BISON will thus enable Europe to be a leading continent in this field.

Organized by: Ministère de la transition écologique et solidaire, IENE, Infrastructure and Nature Coalition

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Upcoming Event

September

8

2021

Upcoming Event: September 8, 2021

Comprehensive Lifecycle Assessment of Sustainability (Principle #3)

Part of the Sustainable Infrastructure: Putting Principle into Practice Series

This webinar in the Sustainable Infrastructure: Putting Principle into Practice series will explore Principle #3: Comprehensive Lifecycle Assessment of Sustainability from UNEP's International Good Practice Principles for Sustainable Infrastructure.

Organized by: Duke University, Green Gray, Sustainable Infrastructure Partnership, Conservation International, Project ECHO, UNEP, ITTECOP, ICSI

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Upcoming Event

September

8

2021

Upcoming Event: September 8, 2021

Equity, Ecosystems and Scarcity - the Global Sand Crisis and Infrastructure

IUCN World Conservation Congress Infrastructure event, Post-2020 Partnership Pavilion

Sand is the world’s most consumed raw material after water and an essential ingredient to our everyday lives. It is central for the construction of roads, bridges, and buildings and is fundamental in the manufacturing of glass and silicon computer chips. Yet the world is facing a growing sand shortage without readily available alternative materials. Construction booms have led to dramatic increases in demand for sand, leading to rising tensions in communities and degraded ecosystems. As the global demand for this resource continues to rise faster than natural sources can sustain, it is crucial to manage it sustainably.

Speakers: Pascal Peduzzi (Director at United Nations Environment Programme GRID-Geneva; Professor at University of Geneva); Antonis Antoniou Latouros (President of the European Aggregates Association); Halinishi Yusuf (Managing Director of the Makueni County Sand Conservation and Utilization Authority in Kenya); Deepthi Wickramasinghe (Professor in Zoology and Environment Sciences at University of Colombo, Sri Lanka); Kate Dawson (ESRC Research Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science); Mike M. McMahon (Strategic Partnership Administrator at the Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern University)

Organized by: WWF, Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern University, Infrastructure and Nature Coalition, UNEP

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Upcoming Event

September

8

2021

Upcoming Event: September 8, 2021

Transport4nature launch: - Acting in Favor of Biodiversity: CEO Commitments for a New Era in Transport and Energy Infrastructure

IUCN World Conservation Congress session, Post-2020 Partnership Pavilion

Transport4Nature invites European transport and energy infrastructure companies to make commitments to biodiversity. Launched by IENE and its partners, an alliance of networks of companies, scientists, and environmental associations, has one ambition: to create a sustainable collective European dynamic to protect, enhance and restore biodiversity, thanks to the involvement of transport and energy infrastructure CEOs. For the launch of Transport4nature, major European transport and energy infrastructure construction companies such as Eiffage in France and REN in Portugal will testify to their commitment to biodiversity and encourage European companies to join the drive for sustainable infrastructure.

Organized by: Ministère de la transition écologique et solidaire, IENE, Infrastructure and Nature Coalition

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Upcoming Event

September

9

2021

Upcoming Event: September 9, 2021

Transport4Nature - Integrating Biodiversity into Transport Infrastructure Corporate Development Strategies and Operations

IUCN World Conservation Congress session, Post-2020 Partnership Pavilion

This workshop will provide an insight into the mechanics of the Transport4Nature initiative. It will explain how it works, how companies can propose commitments, how these commitments are reviewed by experts, evaluated according to specific criteria (SMART) and then communicated. Companies such as Eiffage or RTE will talk about the Act4Nature experience (from which Transport4Nature was inspired) and how their actions are monitored.

Organized by: Ministère de la transition écologique et solidaire, IENE, Infrastructure and Nature Coalition

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Upcoming Event

September

13

2021

Upcoming Event: September 13, 2021

Water Security in the Standard Gauge Railway Corridor, Kenya

Part of the From Infrastructure to Development Corridors Series

The series features presentations by Development Corridors Partnership (DCP) researchers who are exploring how development corridors can ensure sustainable outcomes for all citizens while conserving the unique biodiversity of East Africa, especially through the incorporation of effective social and environmental safeguards.

Speakers: Dr. Catherine Sang (Postdoctoral Scientist, Institute for Climate Change and Adaptation (ICCA), University of Nairobi, Kenya); Prof. Daniel Olago (Director, Institute for Climate Change and Adaptation (ICCA), University of Nairobi, Kenya)

Organized by: UNEP-WCMC, GCRF, UK Research and Innovation, DCP, African Conservation Centre, University of Nairobi, University of Cambridge, University of York

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About Infrastructure and Nature

The Infrastructure and Nature coalition is led by 25+ organizations dedicated to the future of infrastructure.

The Challenge

The private and public sectors are expected to invest $90 trillion in major infrastructure projects between now and 2030—essentially doubling the amount of infrastructure on Earth and transforming the surface of the planet. Infrastructure is key to achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement, the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. New infrastructure investments are essential for delivering low-carbon and resilient solutions that provide for the food, energy, and well-being needs of a growing global population. On the other hand, these investments could potentially cause significant harm to biodiversity and the natural environment by destroying or increasing fragmentation of habitat; blocking critical wildlife corridors; depleting nonrenewable resources; and increasing pollution and direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions. The extraordinary scale of investment needs for infrastructure in the next few decades presents a truly historic opportunity to place humanity on a more sustainable path.

The options we choose may either contribute to human development in line with environmental targets or lock in unsustainable patterns for decades. There are widespread gaps in government policies, institutions, research, and planning capacity needed to embed ecological and climate implications in options that account for externalities over the life of an infrastructure investment. The private sector is helping drive the shift to more sustainable infrastructure with innovative technical solutions and increasing efficiencies. It often finds, however, that a lack of clear and readily available information on environmental and social risks can hinder investment, increase costs, and, ultimately, reduce the sustainability of projects.

Our Objective

Early, strategic-scale planning based on sound science and social engagement can optimize infrastructure development, helping avoid costly post hoc changes and minimizing environmental impacts. With better planning, natural infrastructure can take the place of traditional built solutions and provide ancillary benefits for climate, biodiversity, and resilience. Innovations in science-based design options can enable nature's flows to be maintained as infrastructure needs are met. Better understanding of environmental risks can spur public and private finance to demand more sustainable options. Provisions for compensation for any remaining environmental impacts can fund offsetting conservation. Practical solutions and good models exist. It is time to pull them together and drive a shift in global norms toward building a sustainable infrastructure future.

Contact

Engage with a Coalition Expert

Email [email protected] to get in touch.