Outcomes of the IUCN Leaders Forum Jeju 2022

The IUCN Leaders Forum Jeju 2022 converged around the urgent need for a global transition to a nature-positive economy. The Forum brought together leaders from government, civil society, Indigenous people’s organisations, business and finance in Jeju, Republic of Korea. Leaders from across sectors recognised that building nature-positive economies and societies is not only possible, it is essential to ensure the health, wellbeing and prosperity of humanity.


    Nature-positive: more than a slogan

    To put the world on a nature-positive track, we must turn nature-positive from a slogan into an achievable global goal. We therefore need:

    • to measure progress; 
    • an honest recognition of where we are today;
    • a baseline, a roadmap and a timeline for a nature-positive future.

    Working definition of a nature-positive future

    IUCN presented this working definition as part of the IUCN Working Paper shared with Forum participants for consultation – aiming to stop nature loss by 2030, achieve restoration by 2050, and ensure alignment with other nature-positive initiatives:

    A nature-positive future means that we, as a global society, halt and reverse the loss of nature measured from its current status, reducing future negative impacts alongside restoring and renewing nature, to put both living and non-living nature measurably on the path to recovery.

    To realise our nature-positive vision we must profoundly change production and consumption patterns, and in particular the way we use nature. We must also create development pathways that protect and re-generate nature whilst supporting humanity. Decisions in the public and the private sectors need to reflect these objectives and demonstrate contributions to global nature-positive targets.


    Based on the Forum’s conclusions, IUCN recommends the following:

    • Governments must address environmentally harmful subsidies including reconsidering how public money is delivered to agriculture.
    • The global biodiversity framework should include specific references to ‘nature-positive’ and ‘financial flows towards nature-positive’, most notably in the framework’s Mission.
    • The quality and quantity of protected and conserved areas must be improved, and the revenue that protected areas generate re-invested to cover management costs and support communities.
    • To achieve nature positive economies, Indigenous peoples and local communities must be recognised as primary right holders to their lands, territories and resources, as enshrined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
    • Transparency must be improved through stronger monitoring, reporting and evaluation. This is needed at all levels – from a global scale via the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to the reporting of individual companies.
    • Food systems and consumer choices ultimately drive biodiversity loss, and in this respect, responsibility needs to be attributed fairly.  This requires greater accountability and traceability across supply chains and better understanding and collaboration between farmers and conservation.


    The international community must prepare for CBD COP 15 in this new spirit of collaboration. During this final phase of negotiations, IUCN’s working definition of nature-positive and the IUCN Contributions for Nature Platform are tools that can be used immediately.

    Governments should take the opportunity to address the biodiversity loss and climate change crises simultaneously by explicitly recognising the role and contribution of Nature-based Solutions in the upcoming UNFCCC COP27 as well as in the COP 15.

    Looking beyond COP 15 to the implementation of the global biodiversity framework, a science-based approach to nature-positive will be essential to our collective success.

    No single sector has all the solutions: we need to work together. To this end, dialogue to exchange knowledge and positions is crucial. The Forum made it clear that there is demand from the business and finance sectors for a nature-positive approach that is pragmatic and practical to implement. As a meeting of individuals from a diversity of professional and cultural backgrounds, the IUCN Leaders Forum demonstrated the power of cooperation, common understanding, alliances and open communication. Private and public sectors can, and must, work together.

    Related resources

    Ban Ki Moon speaking at IUCN Leaders Forum Jeju 2022
    IUCN Leaders Forum Jeju 2022

    The first edition of the IUCN Leaders Forum high level event series focused on ‘Building nature-positive economies and societies’.