Host Country Programme

World Environment Day host country Colombia put together a wide-ranging series of events featuring experts on biodiversity issues from across the globe.

Videos highlighting the biodiversity and environmental achievements of different regions of Colombia were featured throughout the day, including images and drone footage of strategic ecosystems.

Join the online conversation on all social media platforms using the hashtag #ForNature.

Full Programme


Opening plenary

Featuring: President of the Republic of Colombia Iván Duque Márquez; Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of Colombia Ricardo Lozano; UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Inger Andersen; Inter-American Development Bank President Luis Alberto Moreno; Founder and Chairman of the World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab; President and CEO of the World Resources Institute, Andrew Steer; Minister of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety of Germany Svenja Schulze & Ministra Federal de Medio Ambiente, Protección de la Naturaleza y Seguridad Nuclear Svenja Schulze; and other invited special guests and a message from Secretary General of the United Nations António Guterres.


Amazon, heart of planetary resilience

A panel discussion featuring Elizabeth Mrema (Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)), Luz Marina Mantilla (General Director of SINCHI Institute), Daniela Raik (Senior Vice-president of the Americas – Conservation International ), Juan Pablo Bonilla (Manager of the Climate Change and Sustainable Development Sector of theInter-American Development Bank), Santiago Gowland (TNC Executive Vice President for Latin America) and Hernando Garcia (General Director of Humboldt Institute).

Moderator: Ana María Hernández (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services - IPBES)

Organizer: Colombia’s Amazon Institute for Scientific Research - SINCHI and Colombia’s Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Biological Resources Research

Sustainable use of biodiversity, green business and the COVID-19 pandemic

A panel discussion featuring Inger Andersen (Executive Director of UNEP), Marco Lambertini (Director General of WWF), Cristian Samper (Executive Director and President of WCS, Thomas Lovejoy (George Mason University), Gregory Watson (Coordinator of Natural Capital Lab Inter-American Development Bank) and Patricia Llombart (Ambassador of the European Union).

Moderator: Sebastian Troëng (Executive Vice-president  of Conservation International)

Organizer: Conservation International

Community and citizen initiative

Featuring updates from youth and leaders of indigenous and Afro-descendant communities and presenting videos of environmental action with communities.

Biodivercities - the close relation between cities and environment

A panel discussion featuring Adriana Lobo (Executive Director World Resource Institute México), Simon Stiell (Minister of Climate Resilience, the Environment, Forestry, Fisheries, Disaster Management, and Information of Grenada), Tatiana Gallego (Inter-American Development Bank), Elkin Velásquez (Regional Director of UN-Habitat in Latin America and the Caribbean) and Manuel Felipe Olivera (Regional. Director for Latin. America - C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group).

Moderator: Jaime Pumarejo Heins, Mayor of Barranquilla

Organizer: Barranquilla City Hall

Air quality and health

A panel discussion featuring: Gina Tambini (Representative of the Pan American Health Organization in Colombia), Fabiola Muñoz (Minister of Environment of Peru), Martin Jaggi (Cooperation Director of the Andean Regional Hub of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation), Helena Molin (Head of Climate and Clean Air Coalition Secretariat) and Sergio Sanchez (Senior Policy Director for the Global Clean Air Initiative - Environmental Defense Fund).

Moderator: Daniel Quintero, Mayor of Medellin

Organizer: Medellín City Hall

Climate change

A panel discussion featuring: Patricia Espinosa (UNFCCC Executive Secretary), Manuel Pulgar (WWF Global Leader of Energy and Climate), Kate Hughes (Director for International Climate Change in the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Carlos Manuel Rodriguez (Costa Rica’s Minister of Environment and Energy) and Graham Watkins (Head of the Inter-Americam Development Bank Climate Change Division).

Moderator: Ricardo Lozano (Colombia’s Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development)

Organizer: World Wildlife Fund - WWF

Circular economy

Panel discussion featuring: Daniel Calleja (Director General of Environment of the European Commission), Bruce McMaster (President of the National Business Association of Colombia - ANDI), Mari Pantsar (Director, Carbon-Neutral Circular Economy - Finnish Innovation Fund - Sitra), Mathy Stanislaus (Interim Director of the Global Battery Alliance), Jocelyn Blériot (Leader at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation), Dominic Kailash Nath Waughray (Managing Director at the World Economic Forum) and Elisa Tonda (Chief, Consumer and Production Unit, Economics Division of UNEP). 

Moderator: Bart van Hoof (Professor at Andes University – Circular economy expert)

Organizer: Andes University and World Economic Forum

Closing session

Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of Colombia, Ricardo Lozano; Executive Director of UNEP, Inger Andersen and German Ambassador in Colombia, Peter Ptassek will make some closing remarks for the closing session. 


Programming was produced by the Government of Colombia