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United for Nature: COP28 mobilizes action to protect and restore forests, mangroves, land and ocean

United for Nature: COP28 mobilizes action to protect and restore forests, mangroves, land and ocean

Baku, December 11, AZERTAC

COP28’s Nature, Land Use and Ocean Day saw leaders endorse commitments and pledges of over $186 million to drive climate action and continue to build momentum to protect and restore nature.

A number of landmark commitments on forests, mangroves, landscape restoration, nature finance and the ocean, were announced reaffirming that near-term action on nature is essential to deliver the goals of the Paris Agreement.

“There is no path to fulfilling the Paris Agreement and keeping 1.5°C within reach without protecting and restoring nature, land, and the ocean. We must work in partnership especially with the indigenous peoples and local communities who steward these critical assets,” said H.E Razan Al Mubarak, the UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28, “The diverse, incredible turn-out for Nature, Land Use, and Ocean Day at COP evidences the support for this dual nature-climate agenda and its centrality to the response to the Global Stocktake. I am delighted that we also have a clear pathway for nature to COP30 in Belém.”

Over $186 million of new financing for nature and climate towards forests, mangroves and the ocean was announced during the Nature, Land Use and Ocean Day. This funding builds on the $2.5 billion mobilized to protect and restore nature during COP28’s World Climate Action Summit (WCAS) on 2 December.

“The COP28 Presidency; the UAE, have demonstrated real action for Nature, one that is backed by significant financial commitments. The journey to 1.5 as we all know, is not possible without nature, and this level of action must be expedited to achieve real progress by COP30,” said H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana.

Reversing nature-loss can provide upwards of 30 percent of the mitigation action needed to keep 1.5°C within reach by 2030. Nature also has a crucial role to play in reducing climate-related hazards, such as floods and fires. Nature preservation can also contribute a potential USD $10 trillion worth of new business opportunities and provide almost 400 million new jobs.

At COP26 leaders agreed to halt and reverse deforestation by 2030 and, earlier this year, adopted the Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), with its goal to protect 30 percent of the land and ocean by 2030. These goals depend on investment in and leadership from indigenous communities, who steward some 80 percent of global biodiversity.

“For thousands of years, our people have been devoted to living in balance and harmony with nature, observing the behavior of the biodiversity that surrounds us, the animals, plant life cycles and water flows,” said María Jose Andrade Cerda, an Indigenous woman from the Kichwa community of Serena, Ecuador, who leads economic and community development in the council of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon. “By bringing science and indigenous knowledge together, COP28 has helped remind the world that understanding and respecting the intricate dance between humanity and nature is paramount to our future.”

A key policy outcome of Nature, Land Use, and Ocean Day is a joint statement between the COP28 Presidency and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), chaired by the People’s Republic of China. The COP28 Joint Statement on Climate, Nature and People was endorsed by 18 countries who lead climate, nature and 11 biodiversity partnerships across forests, mangroves and the ocean. This signaled a new commitment for countries to coordinate and simultaneously implement their nature and climate strategies.

Commitments made today build on those made during COP28's World Climate Action Summit (WCAS) on 2 December, where USD $2.5 billion was mobilized to protect and restore nature. During WCAS, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28 Ms. Al Mubarak announced that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will contribute USD $100 million of new finance for nature-climate projects, with an initial USD $30 million investment in the Ghanaian government’s ‘Resilient Ghana’ plan. The UAE and Brazil will co-lead a two-year strategic partnership bridging COP28 to COP30.

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