UNGA#78 High-Level Event

Demonstrating transformational actions to tackle biodiversity loss 
Over the past five years, leaders have recognized how fundamental nature is to livelihoods, the economy, and tackling other environmental crises, and have accordingly prioritized nature at the highest level.

This has resulted in a number of recent crucial environmental decisions including the historic KMGBF adoption last December and an international legally binding instrument on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ), both of which recognize the rights and crucial role of Indigenous Peoples in successful and sustainable implementation efforts. 

These decisions mark a crucial need to shift our global focus from raising ambition on tackling biodiversity loss, to actually delivering on our ambition; doing so will mean accelerating both financing and implementation on the ground.

Following on last year similar event, in the side-lines of the high level week of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in New York City, the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People (HAC N&P), the Global Ocean Alliance (GOA), and the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature (LPN) united once more to convene a high level event to demonstrate transformational actions to tackle biodiversity loss. 

On the occasion of this high-level event, Jason Momoa, a United Nations Global Ambassador (more commonly known for being the Aquaman star) lended his voice to the effort to protect our ecosystems. In partnership with WWF International and the Nature Positive Initiative, he raised awareness of the urgent need to preserve our planet, for Nature and People. 

The event organized on the 19th of September presented an opportunity for a number of ambitious countries including Canada, Columbia, Costa Rica, France, the UK and the EU and non-state actors to showcase domestic and international actions, both on land and in the ocean, to ensure successful implementation of biodiversity agreements.

The event focused on actions to implement the objectives of the LPN, HAC for N&P and GOA, in particular around increasing resource mobilization from all sources and repurposing current harmful incentives (including subsidies), and conserving and protecting at least 30% of the planet’s land and ocean by 2030.

Organizers ensured participation from Heads of State or government, ministers of foreign affairs, finance and economy and environment, leaders of international organizations, civil society, Indigenous Peoples, youth, businesses and key sectors and a well known actress, whilst also prioritizing the quality, ambition, and concreteness of the actions announced and highlighted.

Actress and activist Jane Fonda called for multilateral and united action, underlining the urgency to find global solutions to protect our planet.  

Mr. Virginius Sinkevicius, EU Commissioner for the Environment highlighted the crucial role of recent multilateral agreements (KMBGF; BBNJ; GBFF) in achieving a global strategy to protect nature and reverse ecosystem degradation by 2030.

The Colombia Government committed to an allocation of 80m$ to grant social agreements for inclusive conservation & restoration in the Amazon, as illustrated by the intervention of Ms. Susana Muhamad, Minister of the Environment of Colombia. 

Mr. Franz Tattenbach Capra, Minister of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica also highlighted his country’s leading role in marine & terrestrial conservation.

He also stressed out the necessity of joint action & collaboration to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and different objectives of recent international agreements. 

This event is extremely important. By showing commitment and leadership, decision makers open the door to concrete ambition and decisive action to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity, and to ensure the fair and equitable sharing of its benefits.
Hugo RIVERA, Team Leader, Post 2020 Biodiversity Framework – EU Support

The High-Level Event on the sidelines of UNGA78 left a legacy of new biodiversity & financing initiatives, with a dose of emotion and collective determination.

Not only did this High-Level summit’s announcements and decisions on actions confirm the leaders’ determination to accelerate the positive impact on people and the planet, but it also took a look back at previous commitments.

Read the Nature Positive Coalition press release here. 

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