Decent Work in Nature-based Solutions

Event posted by Dorsa Sheikholeslami
Decent Work in Nature-based Solutions
Thursday, 4 May 2023 - 15:00 to 16:30 (Europe/Brussels)

About this Session

The world as we know it is facing an unprecedented crisis. We are experiencing a triple threat that has the potential to cause irreversible damage to the planet: biodiversity loss, climate change, and pollution. These crises are interconnected, and they require immediate action from all of us to prevent further damage. The pivotal role of nature and ecosystem services in social and economic development is undeniable. It is estimated that $44 trillion of economic value generation is moderately or highly dependent on nature and its services, which corresponds to over half of traditional global GDP (WEF, 2020). Approximately 1.2 billion jobs in sectors such as farming, fisheries, forestry and tourism rely on healthy and functioning ecosystems (WWF-ILO, 2020).

By integrating the conservation of nature and societal challenges, Nature-based Solutions (NbS) have the capacity to offer pathways for transformative changes to address the current crises and also to rethink the conservation-economy dilemma. Nature-based Solutions not only address climate change mitigation and adaptation, but also enhance biodiversity and provide food and water. Additionally, they create job opportunities and protect communities in vulnerable situations from disasters like flooding, landslides, and droughts. Multiple ecosystem-based approaches that fit within the NbS umbrella have shown promising results of how they can create green jobs, both in short-term and long-term phase spectrums. Currently, approximately 133 billion dollars are directed to NbS interventions, and this financial flow must at least triple by 2030 to achieve land degradation neutrality, climate change and biodiversity targets (UNEP, 2022). Estimations show that nearly 75 million people are currently working in NbS and another 20 million jobs could be created by investing in NbS (ILO-UNEP-IUCN, 2022).  While scaling up NbS, it is crucial to ensure that these employment opportunities are decent work employment. Decent work refers to work that is safe, secure, provides fair wages, guarantees rights at work and provides social protection. Integrating decent work as a key element of NbS safeguards a just transition for both environmental and social sustainability, contributing to social inclusion and poverty eradication. 

Building on the outcomes of the recently published report “Decent Work in Nature-based Solutions”, this event focuses on the role that NbS can and do play in creating employment and decent work – particularly for low-income communities and those in vulnerable situations. Panelists will discuss the sectoral and geographical distribution of green jobs in NbS, they will detail the complexity of green job creation and will outline a framework for measurement. Sharing concrete examples, panelists will also discuss the important vehicles and instruments that will smooth the path for green job growth.