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Biodiversity in China: Conserving Nature, Security the Future | London Climate Action Week Event

The Lau China Institute in partnership with Chatham House invites you to join our webinar as part of London Climate Action Week on Biodiversity in China.

In recent years China has increased its biodiversity conservation efforts, including an unprecedented system reform in 2018 which streamlined the administration of its 12,000 conservation areas under a unified protected area system. China will also host the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in October 2021, which will set targets for the protection and sustainable use of global biodiversity over the next ten years. Looking ahead to COP 15, our speakers discuss ways in which China, and the world, can re-calibrate humanity’s relationship with nature.

  • How is China addressing climate change through biodiversity conservation and what challenges does the country face in implementation?
  • How can China scale-up ambitions in global biodiversity protection and achieve consensus through its role as COP 15 host?
  • Why is investment in nature-based solutions important and what are the economic benefits of biodiversity?

About the Speakers:

Dr. Li Guo, Research Associate, Lau China Institute, King's College London; Lecturer, Department of Political Science, University of British Columbia

Dr. Li Guo is a specialist on Chinese environmental politics. Her research centres on biodiversity protection, genetically modified food policies, and national parks regulation. She has examined different modes of public participation and contestation at the interface between environmental conservation and economic interests in China.

Ms Catalina Santamaria, Senior Program Officer and Special Adviser to the Office of the Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), UN Environment Program (UNEP)

Ms. J. Catalina Santamaria brings over 20 years of experience working in the international policy arena, advising and implementing conservation, restoration and sustainable use portfolios, with multiple partners and teams across various sectors. Her experience in managing impact driven programs and engagement strategies at the international and regional levels has contributed to mainstreaming of biodiversity in policies and practices to reduce the drivers of biodiversity loss, foster the application of safeguards and, more recently, to contribute to the process shaping the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.

Dr. Meng Han, Executive Director, WCMC Beijing

Dr. Meng Han serves as the inaugural Executive Director of WCMC Beijing, with an overall responsibility of WCMC Beijing’s operation and development in China. Prior to this role, Han served as the China Representative of UNEP-WCMC between April 2015 and August 2020. During this period, Han led UNEP-WCMC’s regionalisation strategy and its implementation in and with China. Han’s role contributed to UNEP-WCMC’s broader mandate to strengthen UN Environment Programme’s strategic presence and biodiversity capabilities in China, through leveraging UNEP-WCMC’s expertise and resources.


Dr. Helen Harwatt, Senior Research Fellow, Energy, Environment and Resources Programme, Chatham House

Dr. Helen Harwatt focuses on food system shifts to identify pathways towards creating Paris-compliant food systems that minimize adverse environmental impacts, maximize public health benefits and address ethical issues. Prior to joining Chatham House, Helen completed a research fellowship at Harvard Law School, exploring dietary shifts from animal to plant-based as an option for meeting climate goals and restoring native ecosystems, and remains a visiting fellow.