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2020 is a super year for nature and biodiversity

Nature-based solutions offer the best way to achieve human well-being, tackle climate change and protect our living planet. Yet nature is in crisis, as we are losing species at a rate 1,000 times greater than at any other time in recorded human history and one million species face extinction. In addition to important moments for decision makers, including the COP 15 on Biodiversity, the 2020 “super year” is a major opportunity to bring nature back from the brink.

All year we'll be highlighting updates from around the United Nations System, from partners and from others helping to call attention to the fact that the future of humanity depends on action now. Find the updates here.

To kick off what’s being called “Super Year 2020,” United Nations Environment Programme Executive Director Inger Andersen vows to embrace, acknowledge, integrate, and act for nature.

"2020 is the ‘Super Year for Nature’. So what does that mean? It means we embrace, acknowledge, integrate and act for nature in everything we do. Why? Because we’re losing species at about an average of 1,000 times the natural extinction rate. Because IPBES tells us that out of the 7.8 million species we have on the planet about a million are set to go extinct under the business-as-usual scenario. And at a time when global temperatures have reached all-time highs and our planet seems to be on fire, nature is our biggest ally and can buy us valuable time.

At UNEP we are committed to the Super Year for Nature. We resolve to: making sure nature has a strong voice at the table; to amplifying the knowledge and science that lays out how we need to change what drives our economic growth, the way we build our cities, the way we produce our food, the choices we make each and every day." See the full video.

Humans depend for their very survival on stable and healthy ecosystems and urgent action is needed in 2020 to get the world on track to a more sustainable future. This is a “super year” for the environment—a make or break year in which key international meetings will set the tone and agenda for environmental action in the decade ahead.

Here are some of the upcoming key international meetings planned for 2020:

2–6 June: UN Ocean Conference, Lisbon, Portugal

11–19 June: IUCN World Conservation Congress, Marseilles, France 

23–28 August: Water and Climate Change: Accelerating Action, Stockholm, Sweden

15 September: 75th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 75) in New York, with the first day of the high-level General Debate on 22 September. A Biodiversity Leaders’ Summit might take place at the same time and place. These will provide prime opportunities for world leaders to declare that it is no longer acceptable to continue to degrade our planet and that urgent action to restore nature starts now.

27 September:  5th anniversary of the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals

5–10 October [tentative], Kunming, Yunnan, China:  UN Biodiversity Conference: “Convention on Biological Diversity COP 15”

COP 15 will review the achievement and delivery of the Convention’s Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020. It is also anticipated that the final decision on the post-2020 global biodiversity framework will be taken, together with decisions on related topics including capacity-building and resource mobilization.

9–20 November Glasgow, Scotland, UK: 2020 UN Climate Change Conference: “UNFCCC COP 26”


World Days will be an opportunity to highlight the climate and biodiversity emergencies, including:

3 March – World Wildlife Day/Africa Environment Day

22 May – International Day for Biological Diversity

5 June – World Environment Day/European Union Environment Week


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last update
18 March 2020

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