COP27 week one nature-based solutions roundup

COP27 Logo. Text: COP27. Sharm El-Sheikh. Egypt 2022. Week one roundup.
COP27 week one sees a range of announcements, before the high-level negotiations ramp up in week two.

The first week of COP27, coming this year from Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt has seen a range of developments for nature-based solutions, particularly from the US. As NbS are key to addressing the climate crisis & biodiversity loss, these indications of increased ambition and commitment are welcomed, and it is key that they translate into implementation and action.

COP27 began with the announcement of The Forest and Climate Leaders’ Partnership (FCLP), a voluntary partnership of 26 countries committed to accelerating momentum to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030. On the first full day of COP27, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) released a report, The role of Nature-based Solutions in strategies for Net Zero, Nature Positive and addressing Inequality, which presents findings and recommendations for the role of companies’ actions on NbS.

The US Biden-Harris Administration released a Nature-Based Solutions Roadmap; an outline of strategic recommendations for utilising nature-based solutions (NbS) to address climate change, nature loss, and inequity in America. Released on November 8th at COP27, this roadmap marks the first instance of U.S. strategy to scale up NbS. US announcements continued on day 3 with American Forests announcing a $10 million Tree Equity Catalyst Fund to address systemic inequity in urban tree cover. On day 4, a goal to conserve, restore and grow over 55 billion trees was announced by the US arm of the coalition of companies, nonprofits and government aiming to reach one trillion trees by 2030. Commitment announcements made at COP27 have so far reached a total of 6.9 billion trees from a total of 80 companies.

Also on Day 4, The Climate Investment Funds (CIF)’s Nature, People, and Climate (CIF NPC) investment platform, announced $350 million of funded NbS to be undertaken in Egypt, the Dominican Republic, Fiji, Kenya, and Africa’s Zambezi River Basin Region, which cuts across Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, and Tanzania. Donor countries including the UK, Italy, and Sweden fund the investment platform, which implements transformative nature-based solutions in developing countries. A new intergovernmental Mangrove Alliance for Climate was launched that aims to forward progress towards the conservation and restoration of mangroves, with members including the UAE, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Japan, and Spain.

Continuing the mangrove theme, on Day 5, the Mangrove Breakthrough was launched, which aims to protect 15 million hectares of mangroves around the world and raise investments of $4 billion by 2030. The Global Mangrove Alliance, together with the UN Climate Change High-level Champions are calling for signatories.

On Day 6, a new company, Biomas, working on Brazilian restoration of forests was announced, with R$ 120 million (Brazilian Real) of funding from six partners, maintained through the sale of carbon credits, and to protect and restore 4 million hectares. Brazil is of particular focus for the NbSI team, in particular Research Fellow Aline Soterroni, who led recent research, and accompanying policy brief, that examines the extent to which existing and planned national policies in Brazil can put the nation on the path to its net zero pledge.

At the end of a week of many commitments in a range of sectors, an ‘NbS commitment tracker’ has been launched by Nature4Climate. The tool evaluates progress on joint action commitments that have been made on nature-based solutions from 2019 to 2022, and will be updated as commitments and initiatives progress.

During week two, NbSI team members Audrey Wagner and Aline Soterroni, alongside NbS Bangladesh colleague Tasfia Tasnim, will be on the ground at COP27, working to highlight NbS as key to addressing the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. Audrey and Tasfia will be speaking in a COP27 side event held in the Locally Led Adaptation Pavilion ‘Blending people’s participation and nature-based approaches for enhancing community resilience‘.

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