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European Development Days 2021: Driving The Global Debate on Green Action

The 14th European Development Days (EDD), a leading global forum on international partnerships and cooperation, begins on 15 June 2021 to reflect on the road to the UN Biodiversity Conference (CBD) COP15 in Kunming in October and COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021. More than 1,000 organisations from over 160 countries will debate two main topics on 15 and 16 June: A green economy for people and nature, and protecting biodiversity and people. This year's edition will place a special emphasis on the views of young leaders and include special events on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic for the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals. A virtual EDD Global Village will present innovative projects and ground-breaking reports on sustainable development solutions from more than 150 organisations from all around the world.

Ahead of the event, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the world. Yet the climate and environment cannot wait longer. We need to build forward greener now. It's time for a new global biodiversity ambition. Because we are all affected by the negative consequences, we all have a vested interest in contributing to the health of the planet. This year's European Development Days provide a great opportunity to share experiences, innovative solutions and to foster partnerships.”

Biodiversity loss, climate change and environmental degradation are defining challenges of our generation and require more coordinated and incisive international efforts. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the interlinkages between human health and an healthy planet. ECOPNET (European Cooperation and Partnership Network) invites its followers to join European Development Days event that provides a decisive moment for analysis and reflection on the road to the CBD COP15 in Kunming in October and the Glasgow COP26 in November 2021.

High-level attendees

The President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen will open the European Development Days. Other high-level speakers and participants include Jutta Urpilainen, Commissioner for International Partnerships; and Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries; as well as Amina Mohammed, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General; Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director; HRH Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, President of Fauna and Flora International; Maimunah Mohd Sharif, UN-Habitat Executive Director; Ben Affleck, Co-Founder and Chair of the Eastern Congo Initiative; Idris Elba, Goodwill Ambassador for the International Fund for Agricultural Development. Christian Samper, President and CEO of Wildlife Conservation Society; His Excellency Jakaya Kikwete, Former President of Tanzania and Emmanuel de Merode, Director of the Virunga National Park.

Young leaders

17 inspiring young people, aged between 21 and 26, from around the world will play a central role during the European Development Days. These young leaders were selected from 202 applicants from 79 countries for their exceptional skills, expertise and active contributions to find solutions to climate change issues.


The European Green Deal is an action plan to boost the efficient use of resources by moving to a clean, circular economy, restoring biodiversity and cutting pollution. It will require action by all sectors of the economy, including investing in environmentally friendly technologies, rolling out cleaner, cheaper and healthier forms of private and public transport or decarbonising the energy sector. In the framework of the NDICI-Global Europe, the EU external action budget set at 79.5 billion for the period 2021-2027, the EU has a spending target of 30% to step up efforts on climate change. This will provide significant financial support and technical assistance to partner countries to help those that are most affected by climate change and those which are turning to a green economy.

Source: European Commission Press Corner


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