International Symposium on Building a World-Class Eco-Metropolis

“We live on the same earth, and we should work together to build cities where people and nature coexist harmoniously.” —Wendy Paulson

Aiming to align the megacities’ green development with the new Global Biodiversity Framework at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity’s COP 15 and building a world-class eco-metropolis through joint efforts, the Paulson Institute Beijing Representative Office, in partnership with Shenzhen Foundation for International Exchange and Cooperation (SFIEC), successfully cohosted an international symposium at Shenzhen on May 30, 2023.

Wendy Paulson, the Deputy Secretary-General of Shenzhen Municipal Government, Ireland’s Ambassador to China (who co-launched the Ambassadors for Nature initiative in 2022), and the Chairman of SFIEC delivered the opening remarks. The event created an opportunity for more than 100 Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area audiences to learn deep insights and innovative solutions from twenty distinguished international and Chinese speakers from government departments, international organizations, top educational institutions, think tanks, and enterprises. To our great delight, the feedback from partners and participants has been very positive and encouraging.

The topics covered biodiversity protection and eco-friendly infrastructure in megacities, how market-based financing mechanisms and green financial products fill the funding gap needed for nature conservation, as well as financial institutions and enterprises’ practices of reducing business activities’ impacts on nature.

The first session, with versatile topics on Biodiversity Protection and Eco-friendly Infrastructure in Megacities, included presentations from Dr. John MacKinnon, distinguished conservationist and author of the first Field Guide to the Birds of China, and academics from Tsinghua University and Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Eric Swanson and Chairwoman of Shenzhen Mangrove Foundation. The second session focused on Business for Nature, including presentations from representatives of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), involving US sportswear company Nike, tech giant Tencent, the electric car company BYD and Shenzhen Institute of Building Research. The distinguished outputs of the Paulson Prize were introduced during the panel discussion.

“We should jointly promote the high-quality development of green cities, explore the best and optimal path for biodiversity protection in cities, and contribute wisdom and solutions to sustainable development in China and globally.”
—Ren Yao, Deputy Secretary-General of Shenzhen Municipal Government