During 24-26 March, 2021, “TEEBAgriFood Regional Symposium Asia Pacific” held by UNEP successfully online. More 200 experts and country representatives from UN, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand participated the meeting and shared experiences and lessons from each countriy initiatives and the sustainable transformation of agricultural food industry in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the host institution in China for TEEBAgriFood, UN Environment Programme-International Partnership for Ecosystem Management (UNEP-IEMP) organized and participated multiple sessions in the Symposium.
On the first day of the meeting, the participants shared and discussed the experience, lessons learned and future development of TEEBAgriFood, and agreed on the relevance and significance of the project to the transformation of the food system in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the representative of TEEBAgriFood China project, Director of UNEP-IEMP, Dr. Zhang Linxiu, participated in a panel discussion on "Linking TEEBAgriFood Projects to In-Country Policy Priorities ". Director Zhang mentioned that the main theory of the project "Mainstreaming the value of the nature" shares a very similar core of Chinese President Xi Jinping's conviction of “Lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets”. Year 2021 is the transition point for China, with more and more attention paid to ecological and environmental protection. Therefore, it is the right time for us to apply TEEB analysis in action and contribute to the transformation process of China’s national developmental policies. Director Zhang also briefly introduced the main progress, challenges and future goals of TEEB China project, and discussed about the project with other teams.
UNEP-IEMP Director Linxiu Zhang speaking at the panel discussion
On the second day, each of the five TEEBAgriFood country teams from Asia Pacific introduced the project policy scope, achievements and COVID-19 Responses of their projects. For TEEBAgriFood China project, the group discussion was hosted by Dr. Jialin He, a core member of UNEP-IEMP. Dr. He introduced the work of Tengchong City, Yunnan Province, the first and only case study area selected for TEEBAgriFood project in China, including the advantages of TEEBAgriFood evaluation framework and the assessment plan for the Tengchong case. The project implementation team communicated with the government representatives of Baoshan City and Tengchong City on the policy value of the plan, and participated the discussion with the participants.
Dr. Jialin He, core member of UNEP-IEMP, hosting the group discussion for TEEBAgriFood China project
On the third day, research institutions held a technical workshop on methods and approaches for TEEBAgriFood project. Project teams from each countries presented their research methods and data, and explain how TEEBAgriFood have been or will be used to generate the evidence to support policy change. For TEEBAgriFood China project, Dr. Li Li, a core member of UNEP-IEMP, introduced the project in detail about the project progress, relevant policies, scope definition, scenario setting and follow-up plan, and discussed and exchanged the questions raised by the participants.
Dr. Li Li, core member of UNEP-IEMP, introducing the methods and data of TEEBAgriFood China project
TEEBAgriFood Regional Symposium Asia Pacific provides a good opportunity for project teams from all countries, including China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, to communicate with each other. The event will feed into the preparatory process of the UN Food Systems Summit.
Participants for the TEEBAgriFood Regional Symposium Asia Pacific
The TEEBAgriFood project’s full name is "The Economics of Ecosystem and Biodiversity: Promoting a Sustainable Agriculture and Food Sector". The project is organized and implemented by UNEP and EU in seven pilot countries including China, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico and Thailand. UNEP-IEMP is the host institution in China for TEEBAgriFood. The project aims to assess the true costs of agriculture, make visible the impacts and dependencies of the agri-food value chain on nature, and mainstream the values of biodiversity and ecosystem services into public sector and private sector decision-making.
More introduction about the TEEBAgriFood project is available here.