Advisory councils engage in joint work in the context of CBD COP15

A group of representatives from advisory councils from Belgium, Catalonia, Flanders, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal met to discuss the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. Council representatives took stock of the ongoing negotiations ahead of the Nairobi (June) and Kunming (August/September) meetings.

Furthermore, council representatives discussed issues such as Target 3 (which calls on countries to ensure that at least 30% of the world’s lands and marine areas are protected for nature by 2030) financing the Global Biodiversity Framework ( lack of finance to be considered on of the main reasons for not reaching Aichi targets) and the relation between climate and biodiversity.

Insights and views shared by council representatives are to be utilized as input for an EEAC Chairman’s letter that will be sent in the context of the finalization of the CDB COP15 negotiations this summer.  Next steps are scheduled for the period June and July.

Advisory councils continue joint work on sustainable food systems

Following the expert meeting on sustainable food systems in Brussels on April 5th, advisory councils e-met to analyze and discuss the reflections of the stakeholders. The councils also discussed the (expected) impacts of the geopolitical developments on the food systems. Following the exchange, a updated draft text will be circulated among the advisory bodies involved in the process in May 2022. Read More

Expert hearing: Sustainable Food Systems

Today (April 5th 2022) the EEAC Working Group on Ecosystem Services organized an expert hearing on sustainable food systems. European institutions, interest groups, think tanks and NGOs reflected on a zero-draft document in which the advisory councils that are member of the EEAC Network have set out observations and recommendations on a sustainable food system in Europe. The advisory councils will take the reflections of the stakeholders and the geopolitical context into account when drafting a follow-up text. The councils will e-meet  a to discuss further steps at the start of May.

The energy transition in the context of geopolitical developments

Geopolitical developments have changed the dynamics between the winding down of old energy systems and the building up of new ones. Developments around the world mean that the pace of  phasing out of old energy systems is increasingly influenced by the issue of energy security. As a result, the energy transition is now being driven by climate ambitions and the desire to continue to guarantee energy security with reduced dependence on countries outside the EU. This expected push for an enhanced energy transition or adjustments in direction comes with challenges

In this context the EEAC Working Group on Climate Change and Energy organized an internal policy briefing. Two experts shared their insights with the members of the EEAC Network. André Faaij (Director of Science TNO Energy transition) zoomed in on the impacts of the current energy crisis and an effective response that accelerates the energy transition. Elisa Giannelli (Senior Policy Advisor, E3G) focused on the options Europe has to reduce dependency on third country fossil fuels, while safeguarding energy security and affordability.

In conclusions, both experts shared their views on the questions whether – low carbon – energy sources can fill the void of fossil fuels in our energy mix in the short (next 2,5 years) and mid ( 2,5 to 8 years) term without jeopardizing energy security or affordability? Read More

Inter-council exchange on Planetary Health

Colleagues from five advisory councils e-met on March 16 for a collegial exchange on the topic of Planetary Health and adjacent concepts. They informed each other about their ongoing work and discussed, among others, the relationship between the concept of Planetary Health and sustainable development, the integration of ‘environmental health’ in sectoral policies, as well as Planetary Health as a scientific concept and the challenge of mainstreaming the concept of Planetary Health in policymaking. Colleagues further discussed possible synergies in their work and discussed possible next steps in exchanges among councils and between councils and external experts. Read More

European hub meeting

On February 24th the second Planetary Health European Hub meeting took place. Over 29 organizations and institutions participated. The meeting opened with a recap of the January convening followed by a group discussion regarding what organizations are looking for from this Hub. Organizations then broke out into four groups based on the most popular domains of interest from the post-January convening survey, including: 1)Research, 2) Education, 3) Implementation (movement building), and 4) Implementation (governance/policy). These break out sessions focused on concrete actions and next steps. A next Hub meeting is scheduled to take place early April 2022.

Joint EEAC & NESC Webinar: Wellbeing: a new yardstick for economic performance and welfare (recodings available)

The EEAC Network, together with the National Economic and Social Council (NESC), organized the joint webinar “Wellbeing: a new yardstick for economic performance and welfare”. The webinar took place on February 15th 2022. Please click HERE to consult the programme. Click HERE to view the session recordings.

A new yardstick
GDP growth has been a yardstick for economic performance and welfare and is considered essential for achieving a number of key objectives, including eradication of extreme poverty and adequate financing of social programmes. However there is growing consensus that it is limited in its ability to capture many critical dimensions of human life.

There has therefore been a shift internationally to look beyond GDP, to focus on measures that capture people’s living conditions and quality of life, as well as the state of the environment. Governments are increasingly utilising a well-being approach for policy prioritisation, policy making and evaluation. Such a well-being approach can reframe a Government’s approach to understanding, measuring and contributing to social and environmental progress.

The webinar
The joint EEAC-NESC webinar focused on this international shift towards a well-being approach to policy making. Specifically, the webinar focused on A) the added value of the well-being approach, B) Buy-in to the well-being approach, and C) implementing a well-being framework and the barriers faced.

We had contributions from a variety of international policy makers and scientists, including Carrie Exton, Head of Well-Being Data Insights and Policy Practice, OECD, Minna Halme, Professor of Sustainability Management, Aalto University School of Business/ Finnish Expert Panel for Sustainable Development, and Jennifer Wallace, Director, Carnegie UK.

Read More


Discussing Europe’s sustainability challenges

Today, (February 2nd 2022) The EEAC Network, together with the European Sustainable Development Network (ESDN), hosted a collegial exchange with representatives of the Trio Presidency (France, The Czech Republic, Sweden) and the European Commission to discuss Europe’s sustainability challenges.

Advisory councils continue their joint work on sustainable food systems

A group of thirteen advisory councils met digitally in the context of the EEAC Working Group on Ecosystem Services to discuss the need for a sustainable food systems framework at European level. The group met in December 2021 for the first time, and held its second convening on 26 January 2022. The group is scheduled to have an additional two or three workshops in 2022, which are expected to lead to the formulation of joint insights and preliminary recommendations regarding the establishment of a sustainable food systems framework at European level.

Planetary Health European Convening I

On 18 January 2022, the Planetary Health Alliance, in partnership with the EEAC Network, hosted the Planetary Health European Convening. Twenty-two organizations from nine countries across Europe attended, several of which represent many more countries in Europe and globally. Organizations representing a diverse array of sectors, including healthcare, universities, religious institutions, humanitarian groups, youth, policy, business, and civil society. There were numerous interesting areas discussed, ranging from education courses and degrees, research agendas and gaps, to planetary health communication, policy, advocacy, and movement building. A second meeting took place on 24 February 2022.