In the 21st century, humanity stands at a pivotal crossroads as the planet faces unprecedented threats with major consequences of climate change and biodiversity loss. The nexus between climate and biodiversity is not just a matter of environmental concern; it is an intricate web that encompasses economic, social, and cultural dimensions.
The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report on Climate Change paints a stark picture of irreversible risks facing humanity. However, it also presents pathways to mitigate the damage by recognising the intrinsic interconnection of climate, ecosystems, biodiversity, and human societies.
This urgent need for coherent, integrated approaches to address the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss is specially underscored in Target 8 of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (KMGBF), which emphasises the key role of regional governments.
With this in mind and whining the context of the upcoming UNFCCC COP 28, the Post 2020 Biodiversity Framework – EU Support, Regions4 and the European Committee of the Regions are co-organising a side-event entitled “Tackling the twin crises of climate and biodiversity loss: ambition and action from regional governments to build resilience”.
Scheduled on December 11th, from 12h00 to 13h30 (GST), at the EU Pavilion, Blue Zone, Expo City Dubai, the session will shed light on the critical role of subnational governments in addressing these two interconnected challenges.
“In the face of unprecedented risks posed by the escalating climate and biodiversity loss crises, regional governments are not waiting – they are leading. They are in a unique position to be drivers of change with transformative solutions that consider local contexts and realities, showcasing that bottom-up, integrated systems can effectively support national and global environmental targets“, highlights Natalia Uribe, Regions4 Secretary-General.
Harnessing Subnational Leadership for Global Impact
CBD COP15 delivered a framework that includes important references to the “whole of government” approach to enhance implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (KMGBF). Especially relevant for subnational governments are the following three KMGBF targets:
These targets highlight the need for coordinated efforts at the regional level to achieve the overarching goals of the KMGBF, further emphasizing the pivotal role of subnational governments in global biodiversity conservation.
“Our project has found that subnational governments are invaluable stakeholders when it comes to tackling both the climate and biodiversity crises in a coherent and holistic way. Their commitment and transformative actions on the issue are an example that can be replicated at the national level and serve as inspiration to all stakeholders.”, marks Hugo Rivera Mendoza, Team Leader, Post 2020 Biodiversity Framework – EU Support
The panel will showcase best practices on subnational ambition actions to address the twin crises. Moderated by Pierre Walter, Deputy Team Leader of the Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework – EU Support Project, esteemed speakers include:
- Leo Bejarano, Director of the Catalan Office of Climate Change, Government of Catalonia
- Noloyiso Anelyz, Director of Climate Change, Environmental Planning, Governance, and Information Management, KwaZulu Natal
- Niina Ratilainen, Member of Turku City Council, Finland, and member of the European Committee of the Regions
- Thiago Pampolha, Vice-Governor of the State of Rio de Janeiro and State Secretary on Sustainability (TBC)
Additionally, noteworthy advocacy efforts by key partners will be showcased, including from the Ecological and Forestry Applications Research Centre (CREAF), the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), along with the Race to Resilience and Climate Champion initiatives.
The urgency to address these intertwined challenges has never been more pressing. The global community stands at a crossroad where the decisions and actions taken today will reverberate through generations, shaping the trajectory of life on Earth.