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UNFCCC COP28 Dubai outcomes for Biodiversity

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The UAE Presidency has put the spotlight on nature at COP28 held in Dubai, with a series of events and high-level announcements. This emphasis follows the growing momentum in favor of biodiversity and ecosystems in the context of the climate negotiations.


UNFCCC – CBD Alignment 

On December 9th, during the Nature, Land Use and Ocean Day, the UAE UNFCCC COP28 Presidency, the  China CBD COP15 Presidency and 18 countries endorsed the Joint Statement on Climate, Nature and People to reinforce aligned action of the Paris Agreement, the Global Biodiversity Framework (KMGBF) and the Land Degradation Neutrality Targets.  

This joint declaration renews the call to accelerate efforts in favor of nature and climate. It reaffirms the commitment of the signatory countries to enhance national and international cooperation around common challenges, such as:

  • Fostering the alignment of countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), and National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) revision ahead of UNFCCC COP30 and CBD COP16, to be held in 2024;
  • Scaling-up finance and investments for climate and nature from all sources;
  • Ensuring the equitable representation and participation of Indigenous Peoples (as rights holders), local communities, women, girls, youth, and other vulnerable communities in national planning processes across climate and nature;
  • Promoting a whole-of-society approach in the planning and implementation of national climate, biodiversity and land restoration plans and strategies; and
  • Encouraging coherence and interoperability for data collection, methods and reporting frameworks across climate and nature.

The message outlined in this Joint Statement reflects the ambition to increase awareness and build capacity to create synergies between the Paris Agreement and the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.

According to the CBD, this effort is vital given that countries are currently preparing their NBSAPs in line with the KMGBF objectives, ahead of the CBD COP16, to be held in 2024.

A step forward towards an integrated climate and biodiversity approach

The COP28 Global Stocktake was adopted on Wednesday 13 December, and, in comparison to the declaration of COP 27, biodiversity was given considerably more prominence. Several articles testify of the growing awareness of the interconnection between nature and climate.

A number of articles, such as, Article 33, Article 52, Article 55 but also Articles 51 and 63 (d), have demonstrated countries’ political determination, emphasized the alignment of agendas, and set a clear milestone for reducing the loss of biodiversity by 2030.

Encouraging signs for the future of the planet

Several major announcements were made on different nature-related fronts:

Halt and Reverse Forest Loss 

Representatives of governments, civil society, and the private sector gathered at the Forest & Climate Leaders’ Partnership (FCLP) COP28 Ministerial with a renewed determination to take action according to the 2021 Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use. 

  • 15 governments launched a roadmap to scale investment in forest carbon results and credits, highlighting the important potential of Forest Carbon Markets in scaling payments for climate and environmental services provided by forests;
  • Several countries, in partnership with the Global Alliance of Territorial Communities, launched a Platform for Indigenous Peoples’ and Local Communities (IPLCs) to take an active part in high-level discussions, underscoring the need to guarantee forest property rights;
  • The European Union (EU), Germany, the Netherlands, and France, launched a global Team Europe Initiative (TEI) on Deforestation-free Value Chains, aimed at halting deforestation and supporting partner-countries in an efficient transition to sustainable, deforestation-free, and legal value chains.

30×30 

Ministers from 14 nations, leaders of Indigenous communities, environmental experts and scientists, and multilateral funders announced progress on plans for nature protection as a way to tackle the climate and biodiversity twin crises. The event was co-hosted by the COP28 Presidency, High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, Campaign for Nature, and the UN Climate Change High-Level Champion.

During this event, China announced that it will join the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People. 

Protecting mangroves

21 countries joined the Mangrove Breakthrough – an initiative to protect and restore 15 million hectares of mangroves by 2030 worldwide.  

Also, Indonesia launched a mangrove research center that will be supported by the UAE.

Oceans

21 additional countries committed to develop Sustainable Ocean Plans and 18 countries signed the Oceans Breakthrough, focusing on marine & coastal conservation, ocean renewable energy, ocean-based transport, aquatic food, and coastal tourism management. This initiative reminds us of the need to ensure oceans’ well-being.

Nature Positive Initiative

Alongside the high-level central negotiations on the ‘main stage’ of the COP, a number of side-events were organized over the two weeks, focusing their attention on the importance of aligning the climate and nature agendas.

The Nature Positive Initiative Pavilion, in particular, launched the eponymous Forum. It featured the epicenter of the nature agenda, with numerous events such as The Nature Talks, the Measuring Nature Positive Session and many other rich moments where actors from various sectors shared their best practices and proposals on nature-based solutions.

Heading for CBD COP 16 

In addition, a few days after the end of COP 28, the Colombian government submitted its proposal to host the UN Biodiversity COP 16 to be held from 21 October to 1 November 2024.

The Bureau of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity met on 15 December and accepted Colombia’s offer to host the next meeting. 

“This is going to be a great opportunity for one of the most biodiverse nations in the world. This event sends a message from Latin America to the world about the importance of climate action and the protection of life. It highlights the commitment of Colombia, of President Gustavo Petro and the entire country, to preserve our planet.”, stated H.E. Susana Muhamad, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of Colombia. 

We are pleased to see Colombian offert accepted, and are proud tu support various initiatives in Latin America and The Caribbean, confident in the potential of the region to advance the integration of biodiversity into climate change mitigation at all levels of government. 

***

COP 16 will be the first Biodiversity COP since the adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework at COP 15 in December 2022 in Montreal, Canada. 

For reminder, the Conference encompasses the Sixteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 16), the Eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, and the Fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization



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