COP28 Recognises Nature’s Key Role, Thanks to Razan Al Mubarak


The decision marks a pivotal moment, solidifying a global consensus on the integral role of nature in climate action…reports Asian Lite News

In a pivotal development at the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), the Global Stocktake on December 13 emphasized the critical role of nature and ecosystems in the global strategy against climate change. This landmark decision, championed by Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, the UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28, marked a significant turning point in the inclusion of biodiversity and natural environments in climate action discussions.

The decision marks a pivotal moment, solidifying a global consensus on the integral role of nature in climate action. It underscores the need to harness the inherent power of ecosystems, such as forests, oceans, mountains, and the cryosphere, in mitigating climate impacts and enhancing resilience. This approach aligns with the concept of ‘living in harmony with nature’, a principle deeply rooted in the practices and beliefs of Indigenous Peoples and local communities worldwide.

Razan Al Mubarak, the UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28 emphasised, “COP28 has been instrumental in cementing the role of nature in our climate change discourse. The inclusion of nature in the outcomes of the Global Stocktake is not only a testament to our collective understanding of nature’s dual role as a victim and a vital solution to climate change but also signals a major shift towards embracing and actioning nature-based solutions. By protecting, conserving, and restoring our natural ecosystems, we are taking a decisive step towards a sustainable and resilient future.”

Adding to this, Grethel Aguilar, IUCN’s Director General, stated: “IUCN welcomes the strong recognition of the contribution of nature in the formal outcomes of the Global Stocktake. We believe that alongside a rapid and just energy transition, investing in healthy ecosystems and nature-based solutions is critical to keeping the 1.5°C goal alive. Nature will deliver powerful adaptation and mitigation benefits provided we take ambitious action towards decarbonizing our economies and societies.”

The Global Stocktake also referenced the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, emphasizing the importance of conserving biodiversity and ensuring social and environmental safeguards. This acknowledgment reinforces the need for enhanced support and investment in halting and reversing deforestation and forest degradation by 2030, in line with the Paris Agreement and the objectives of the Kunming-Montreal Framework.

Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, former COP20 President and the Champion for the Action Agenda for Nature as part of the Convention on Biological Diversity, remarked: “The Global Stocktake’s integration of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework is a momentous step in recognizing the inseparable bond between biodiversity and climate health. As the former COP President and Champion for the Action Agenda for Nature, I see this as a pivotal alignment in our global efforts to address the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, driving forward a whole of society agenda that respects and harnesses the power of nature in our climate action strategies.”

The Stocktake acknowledges the urgent need to address climate change and biodiversity loss in tandem, aligning these efforts with the Sustainable Development Goals. It highlights the vital importance of nature and ecosystems in effective and sustainable climate action.

This Global Stocktake notably aligns with the COP28 Joint Statement on Nature, Climate and People, a landmark joint declaration by the United Arab Emirates, in its role as the UNFCCC COP28 Presidency, and the People’s Republic of China, serving as the CBD COP15 Presidency. This collaborative statement, signed by 18 countries, highlights the urgent need to address the intertwined challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss, and land degradation. It underscores the profound risks these issues pose to ecosystems and livelihoods across the globe, reaffirming commitments to integrated approaches across key international frameworks. Focused on sustainable land and ocean management, the Statement stresses these as crucial factors in bolstering climate resilience and promoting sustainable development. This partnership exemplifies a united front, reinforcing our global determination to enhance the effectiveness of climate action through robust partnerships and coalitions.

Further, the decision emphasizes the conservation, protection, and restoration of nature and ecosystems, including through efforts to halt and reverse deforestation and forest degradation by 2030. It also recognizes the role of terrestrial and marine ecosystems as carbon sinks and reservoirs and the importance of conserving biodiversity.

In addition, the decision invites Parties to preserve and restore oceans and coastal ecosystems and to scale up ocean-based mitigation actions where appropriate. This reflects a growing awareness of the oceans’ role in climate regulation and the need to protect marine biodiversity.

This decision, encouraged by Razan Al Mubarak’s advocacy and supported by organizations like IUCN and leaders such as Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, represents a significant step in integrating nature-based solutions into global climate action, reflecting a growing understanding of the interdependence of ecological health and climate stability.

On December 2, at the start of the COP28 World Climate Action Summit, Ms. Al Mubarak announced a groundbreaking financial commitment of US$2.5 billion in Nature Conservation Finance. This funding is a testament to the global community’s dedication to integrating nature conservation with climate action strategies, focusing on the preservation and restoration of forests, mangroves, land, and ocean ecosystems. As part of this, the United Arab Emirates pledged US$100 million in new finance for nature-climate projects. This pledge includes an initial US$30 million investment in Ghana’s ‘Resilient Ghana’ plan, highlighting the UAE’s commitment to championing nature-based solutions for climate resilience and biodiversity preservation.

ALSO READ:  UAE Supports Ukrainian Health Sector

[mc4wp_form id=""]