Nature-based Climate Solutions Support All SDGs: COP 25 Side Event
Photo by IISD | Lynn Wagner
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At a UN side event on nature-based solutions, Ovais Sarmad, UNFCCC Secretariat, stressed the need to address land issues in the next round of NDCs in 2020.

Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, SDG Advocate, urged solutions to enable indigenous peoples to address climate change and implementation of rights-based approaches.

Ibrahim Thiaw, Executive Secretary, UNCCD, called for allocating 30% of climate financing for land-based solutions.

A side event on nature-based solutions showcased collaborative actions between agencies, funds and programmes to address climate issues through the lens of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs, particularly SDG 15 (life on land). The event took place during the 2019 UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid, Spain. The event titled, ‘Nature-Based Solutions on the Ground (SDG 15): UN Support to People and Landscapes,’ convened on 9 December 2019, with the participation of UN agencies and partners representing indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs), the private sector and youth.

In opening remarks, Ovais Sarmad, UNFCCC Secretariat, stressed the need to address land issues in the next round of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in 2020. Land conservation can provide 30% of mitigation potential required to meet the 2°C target, noted Grethel Aguilar, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Acting Director General.

Echoing that land degradation neutrality is an essential link to address climate change as well as to achieve the SDGs, Ibrahim Thiaw, UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) Executive Secretary, called for allocating 30% of climate financing for land-based solutions. 

Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, SDG Advocate, urged solutions to enable indigenous peoples to address climate change and implementation of rights-based approaches. She underscored that nature-based solutions cut across all the SDGs.

During a land-based mitigation panel, speakers emphasized mutual trust and respect to maintain IPLCs’ contributions in nature-based solutions. They also: lamented that the Brazilian government has frozen USD 500 million of funds earmarked for Amazon conservation; called for global multi-stakeholder participation in community-led mitigation and adaptation; and noted that voluntary agreements, like the soy moratorium, are important instruments for private sector engagement.

In a panel on adaptation, speakers described: IPLCs’ heightened awareness of climate change due to their experiences on the front lines of climate impacts; application of nature-based solutions in biosphere reserves to promote adaptation; and opportunities to learn from IPLC-led nature-based solutions to address climate change.

During a panel discussion on mountain ecosystems, speakers highlighted that indigenous communities are leading the way on climate solutions. They noted the need for government support to address such challenges, and cited threats posed by melting glaciers to mountain communities, as well as the benefits of mountains for humans and ecosystems.

The event was organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the UN Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (UN-REDD), and the UN University (UNU). [IISD Event Coverage] [UN-REDD Website] [UNESCO at COP 25] [FAO at COP 25] [ENB Coverage of COP 25]


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