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United For Nature: COP28 Mobilises Action To Protect And Restore Forests, Mangroves, Land And Ocean

Building on the Forest Land and Agriculture frameworks of Science-based Target International and the Science-based Target Network, over 150 companies and financial institutions have pledged to establish climate and nature targets


COP28’s Nature, Land Use and Ocean Day saw leaders endorse commitments and pledges of over USD 186 million to drive climate action and continue to build momentum to protect and restore nature. Several landmark commitments were made on forests, mangroves, landscape restoration, nature finance and the ocean,  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 at 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,” he added.

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

“The COP28 Presidency; the UAE, has 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 per cent 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 per cent of the land and ocean by 2030. These goals depend on investment in and leadership from indigenous communities, who steward some 80 per cent of global biodiversity.

“For thousands of years, our people have been devoted to living in balance and harmony with nature, observing the behaviour 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,” she added.

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 signalled 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 mobilised to protect and restore nature.

Al Mubarak said 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.

10 December declarations included:

30 countries have become members of the Mangrove Alliance for Climate (MAC), totalling 37 countries and covering more than 60 per cent of the world’s mangroves. This is an initiative led by the UAE and Indonesia.

21 countries formally endorsed the Mangrove Breakthrough, a collaborative effort between the Global Mangrove Alliance (GMA) and the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions that aims to restore and protect 15 million hectares of mangroves globally by 2030 through USD 4 billion of finance.

The High-Level Ocean Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, now a group of 18 countries, revealed its membership in the Organisation of American States, collaborating to achieve a 100 per cent sustainable ocean economy.

The Forest Carbon Results and Credits roadmap was put forward by 15 governments and outlined a plan to scale investment in forest carbon results and credits, emphasising the significant potential of Forest Carbon markets to scale payments for climate and environmental services.

A Joint Statement from 17 countries called for using sustainable wood in construction.

More than 150 businesses and financial institutions have intentions to set climate and nature targets under the Science-Based Target Network and Science-Based Target International’s Forest Land and Agriculture frameworks.

Under these frameworks, businesses agree to increase investments in nature-based solutions and to begin assessing, managing, and disclosing their nature-related impacts, dependencies, risks, and opportunities through the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) framework.

Brazilian President Lula da Silva and the COP28 Presidency revealed a two-year partnership to mobilise new resources and political support for nature on the road to COP30 in Belém.

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