Transformative Change

What can researchers offer to understand Transformative Change and to translate it into actions, goals, targets and pathways for the Global Biodiversity Strategy to 2030?

This request, made by the European Commission (DG R&I) refers to transformative change, which has been highlighted as indispensable to achieve the objectives of CBD and other multilateral agreements, SDGs, and the Paris Agreement.

An increasing amount of literature is becoming available on how to bring this transformative change into action, based on e.g. the IPBES Global Assessment, the Planetary Boundaries concept, and the “bending the curve of biodiversity loss” discussion.

Promoting transformative change, facilitating it and incorporating actions to achieve it into pathways, goals and targets of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework is key, but there is not enough discussion on how to achieve this. Whilst various elements are discussed, there is a gap in understanding how this could be concretely undertaken.

The objective of this request is to initiate a Science-Policy dialogue to bring together and engage scientists and policy makers in a transparent dialogue, to recommend how to bring the post-2020 process forward on transformative change, taking up respective work of SBSTTA/the Open-Ended Working Group of the CBD (OEWG).


The Process

Following a Call for Experts, selected candidates are now part of the Expert Working Group for this request. The EWG will work to develop a background document.

Building on a background paper prepared by the EWG for this request, a workshop, tentatively planned for late June, will look at what is transformative change, how can biodiversity policy trigger transformative change, and how can this be translated into actions, goals, targets and pathways for the Global Biodiversity Strategy to 2030.

A wider online consultation on the outcomes of the workshop is foreseen, before the final document is submitted to the CBD Secretariat as an INF document for the GBF discussions.



The EWG is composed of 10 members and 3 co-chairs (marked by *).

  • Tim Forsyth (London School of Economics and Political Science)
  • Marcel Kok* (PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency)
  • Sebastian Villasante (University Santiago de Compostela)
  • Peter Goethals (Ghent University)
  •  Jiska van Dijk* (NINA & ALTER-Net)
  • Harriet Bulkeley* (Durham University/Utrecht University)
  • Diana Mangalagiu (University of Oxford)
  • Fatiha Hassouni (Union for the Mediterranean)
  • Pieter Vullers (Stockholm Resilience Centre (Stockholm University) in collaboration with the Dutch Research Institute for Transitions (Erasmus University of Rotterdam))
  • Gabriella Nagy (CEEweb for Biodiversity)