Forward Thinkers: Webinar Series 2021

This webinar series is designed for forward-thinkers:  decision-makers from the policy level, civil society, science, and business. We are sharing and discussing existing and proven policy solutions to tackle the world’s most urgent challenges: climate change, loss of ecosystems, the food crisis, rights of children and youth, protection from hazardous chemicals and peace and disarmament.

Grown from the conviction that solutions for the most essential challenges to humanity’s future exist, Forward Thinkers Webinars highlight awarded exemplary policy solutions of the Future Policy Award – and beyond. The presented solutions contribute to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. Councillors of the World Future Council and Winners of the Future Policy Award will share their insights and expertise. The webinars will go alongside UN international days, taking place Thursdays around international UN days.

Launched in 2007, the World Future Council works to pass on a healthy planet and just societies to our children and grandchildren with a focus on identifying and spreading effective, future-just policy solutions.

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Thursday 20 May 2021

Preventing pandemics: Living in harmony with nature

The International Day for Biological Diversity (or World Biodiversity Day) is a United Nations international day for the promotion of biodiversity issues. The World Future Council and the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) have awarded the world’s best biodiversity policies with the Future Policy Award in the International Year on Biodiversity. Costa Rica’s Biodiversity Policy received the Gold Award.This webinar will present why Costa Rica is so successful in biodiversity conservation and what the country is proposing as Global Deal for Nature to be adopted at COP 15 in Kunming, China later in the year. The  Convention on Biodiversity  will outline why governments need to adopt ambitious plans to implement broad-based action to bring about a transformation in society’s relationship with biodiversity.

The webinar will also present the research results of our handbook for policymakers on preventing pandemics with future just biodiversity policies. Because science is clear: In order to prevent future pandemics, we need to protect ecosystems and biodiversity. Covid-19, Ebola, Aids, SARS und MERS were all caused by viruses jumping from animals to humans. The destruction of nature makes future pandemics more likely.  More than ever, we need exemplary policies to protect biodiversity.

The webinar is part of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, which aims to accelerate action for the protection and restoration of ecosystems all around the world, for the benefit of people and nature.


  • Elizabeth Maruma Mrema. Executive Secretary, Convention on Biodiversity (confirmed)
  • Andrea Meza Murillo, Minister of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica, Future Policy Gold Award Winner (confirmed)
  • Julia Marton-Lefevre, Member of the Bureau of IPBES and Councillor, World Future Council, former Director General, International Union for the Conversation of Nature (IUCN) (confirmed)
  • Prof. Dr. Jorge Cabrera, author of Biodiversity Handbook on exemplary biodiversity policies, Center for International Sustainable Development Law and World Future Council (confirmed)
  • Patricia Mumbua Kombo, Founder of PaTree Initiative, Youth:Present representative, and UNCCD Land Hero (confirmed)
  • Moderator: Alexandra Wandel, Chair, Management Board, World Future Council (confirmed)

Thursday, 20 May 2021 | 4pm CEST | 1.5 hours | Free Admission

Thursday 3 June 2021

Preserving Diversity: Protecting 30 % of the oceans by 2030

June 8 is World Oceans Day, the United Nations day for celebrating the role of the oceans in our everyday life and inspiring action to protect the ocean and use marine resources sustainably. This webinar will explain the global situation, present possible solutions and explain why we need to protect large parts of the marine environment.

According to numerous scientists, at least 30 % of the oceans must be protected by 2030. Most fishing grounds are already overfished, many species of shark and even the large tuna species, such as the bluefin tuna, are almost extinct. Climate change is accelerating the extinction of these species.
To set an example, a number of states have now joined forces to form the Global Ocean Alliance (GOA). They are promoting the 30 % by 2030 target.
The webinar will present the Gold Award Winner of the Future Policy Award on Oceans and Coast: Palau’s Protected Area Network Act and Palau’s Shark Haven Act.

Additionally, the webinar addresses the need for a High Seas Treaty which must be created within the framework of the international “Law of the Sea“ (UNCLOS). It can provide the framework for such marine protected areas, among other things. There is a clear mandate from the United Nations for such a convention. The World Future Council is working actively on such a High Seas Treaty together with a number of other international environmental organisations.

The webinar is part of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, which aims to accelerate action for the protection and restoration of ecosystems all around the world, for the benefit of people and nature.


  • Anna Oposa, Co-Founder, Save Philippines Seas, Philippines, Councillor, World Future Council (confirmed)
  • Dr. Ralf Sonntag, Senior Advisor, World Future Council: Protecting 30 percent of our oceans by 2030 (confirmed)
  • Sophie Mirgaux, Special Envoy for the Ocean, Belgium (confirmed)
  • Representative of Palau’s Protected Areas Network Act and Palau’s Shark Haven Act, Future Policy Gold Award Winner (Speaker to be confirmed)
  • Moderator: Alexandra Wandel, Chair, Management Board, World Future Council (confirmed)
  • More speakers to be confirmed soon!

Thursday, 3 June 2021 | 11am CEST | 1.5 hours | Free Admission

More webinars coming soon!

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