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 8 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)
  • 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)


Online Consultation

The background document prepared by the EKLIPSE Expert Working Group on Transformative Change in preparation for the online workshop is now available here. The link to the online consultation is available here.

EKLIPSE is committed to ensure the usability of all its products and is therefore organizing a consultation process of this background document by engaging a range of stakeholders.

Before proceeding, it is worth noting the following disclaimer:

  • The Background Document provides only one way to look at transformative change in relation to the GBF. It is neither an EU position nor the only way forward;
  • The Background Document only provides a set of topics. It is not meant to be exhaustive. This document reflects the results of a quick scoping of relevant documents resulting from the 2nd OEWG, GBO-5, IPBES, as well as peer-reviewed and grey literature and is by no means comprehensive;
  • The workshop linked to this consultation is an expert workshop, not a negotiation workshop. Participants are invited in their personal expertise;
  • The workshop aims to have an open debate on how much transformative change is needed in the GBF, and if it so, what form it could take.

The background document is now open for consultation until 3 pm CEST, June 10th 2020. The final editing and formatting of in-text references and the reference list will be undertaken after the consultation. 

Thank you very much for your willingness to participate in this consultation, which we estimate should take about 20 minutes of your time. This is an essential and critical phase to ensure the usability of the developed background document for the preparation of the virtual workshop.


Online Workshop

Following the preparation of the Background Document and the Online Consultation, an online workshop was held in different sessions over a period of 3 days, on June 23rd, 25th, and 26th. 

The Workshop Report is available for consultation until 3pm CEST on Aug. 24th 2020.