COMMUNIQUÉ to LEADERS at the UN BIODIVERSITY CONFERENCE (COP 15) December 2022
EUROPEAN LIFE SCIENCES UNIVERSITIES
ADDRESSING THE URGENT NEED TO BEND THE CURVE OF BIODIVERSITY LOSS
We, the Rectors, Deans and Senior Management of the Association for European Life Science Universities at our Forum, held in Kaunas, Lithuania on 20 and 21 October 2022, addressed the challenges of stabilising and even reversing the loss of biodiversity.
Recognising that university education, research and innovation are vital pillars for the transition to a sustainable circular bioeconomy that conserves, restores and enhances biodiversity; and
Placing biodiversity conservation, restoration and enhancement together with climate neutrality and sustainable food production at the centre of our learning and research, in collaboration with societal partners, and in our campus operations;
Pledge to political leaders, societal influencers, businesses, and the general public that:
- We will share our understanding of biodiversity, its intrinsic heritage value, its trends and dynamics and its functional significance for the sustainability of natural and urban ecosystems;
- We will combine fundamental research on biodiversity with a quest for nature-based solutions, contributing to conservation, restoration and enhancement of biodiversity along with climate neutrality nd sustainable food production in a sustainable circular bioeconomy;
- We will encourage our students – the professionals and decision makers of the future – to internalise all available understanding of the need, means and paths for society to conserve, restore and enhance biodiversity in all types of terrestrial and marine ecosystems;
- We will engage to protect and enhance the biodiversity of our own life science university grounds, campuses and other estates, for them to become enlightening examples and teaching tools for biodiversity-based development.
- We will seek active collaboration with the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC), the European Commission and with urban planning and other economic and societal sectors in our regions across Europe. We will engage with the marine, agrifood, forestry, and biobased industries, to stimulate and implement concrete behavioural and institutional changes to effectively curb, and even reverse, the downward trend of biodiversity, and advance the transition to a circular, climate neutral society.