8 November 2021
Glasgow Side Events Advocate Oneness with Nature
Photo by Ives Ives on Unsplash
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Many events are being held on the sidelines of the negotiations, to launch initiatives and publications, share insights on topics related to the main proceedings, and introduce new issues and actors to the climate change process.

The first week of COP 26 featured several events on resilience, nature, and adaptation.

Resilience Frontiers is hosting the Resilience Lab at COP 26, which is exploring eight pathways to broad recognition of climate change as a symptom of a broader ailment.

After being postponed for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 26) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is meeting in Glasgow, UK through 12 November 2021. Many events are being held on the sidelines of the negotiations, to launch  initiatives and publications, share insights on topics related to the main proceedings, and introduce new issues and actors to the climate change process. The first week of COP 26 featured several events on resilience, nature, and adaptation. 

Resilience Frontiers is hosting the Resilience Lab at COP 26, which is exploring eight pathways to broad recognition of climate change as a symptom, the solution to which is a change in global outlook, transitioning towards symbiotic oneness with nature and planetary wellbeing. Each day the Lab is focusing on one of the pathways. 

On 3 November, the Lab showcased ‘transforming humanity’s relationship with nature.’ Participants were urged to engage in activities that have a sustained net positive effect on nature, prioritizing holistic and relational approaches. On 4 November, the Resilience Lab featured the second pathway, tackling lifelong learning for environmental stewardship. This approach asserts that for humans to live up to their collective responsibility as custodians of a planet that sustains all, each must embark on a lifelong journey of learning, incorporating indigenous wisdom, to create a shift in global consciousness and reawaken the sense of belonging to nature.
On 5 November, the third pathway, tackling universal, equitable coverage of, and open access to, (big) data and information, was the focus, underscoring that technologies like big data, artificial intelligence (AI), and supercomputing have created innovations that can ensure the wellbeing of humanity and the natural world. This pathway encourages societies to harness this potential and scale technologies in the collective interest of all. On 6 November, the Lab addressed ‘managing water and other natural resources in an equitable and participatory manner‘ to secure a climate-resilient and water-secure world. 

Resilience Frontiers is a two-year collective intelligence process (2019-2020), followed by an implementation decade (2021-2030) that considers the impact of frontier technologies and factors that threaten humanity. It spans partnerships among UN agencies, international NGOs, research institutes, and youth networks.
[Resilience Lab at COP 26 Website

On 6 November, TMG Research, the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and others convened a side event on threats posed by the ongoing surge in desert locusts. Titled Understanding the Interconnectedness Between the Ongoing Desert Locust Crisis 2019-2021+ and the Climate Crisis, the event highlighted the need to:  

  • integrate prevention and management of transboundary pests and diseases into climate change adaptation and governance geared towards resilience;
  • coordinate better and more rapidly;
  • understand the true costs associated with the desert locust crisis, including the negative impacts to the environment and human health caused by the use of toxic pesticides; and
  • have an innovative early warning system and the development of effective biocontrol options for the benefit of small holders, vulnerable people, and the environment.

As the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) points out, this unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods, especially in the Horn of Africa, could lead to further suffering, displacement, and potential conflict.

Another 6 November event presented agroecology as part of ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) for transformational changes in our food systems. Discussions also emphasized strategic opportunities for joint programmes and strategies among the agriculture and climate change communities.

Highlights included that:

  • the current global food system destroys natural ecosystems, contributes around a quarter of global emissions, and is failing to achieve zero hunger;
  • systemic responses are necessary to address the systemic challenges posed by climate change, EbA, and agroecology;
  • up-scaling should be thought of as creating an enabling environment for EbA and agroecology, which involves addressing long-standing challenges of rural development, such as land tenure security, community empowerment, and inclusive service delivery; and
  • new metrics for internalizing negative externalities of agriculture are needed, as are new valuation techniques to account for positive externalities.

This event, titled ‘Agroecology: Ecosystem-based Adaptation in Agriculture‘ was organized by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), in partnership with TMG Research and CIFOR-ICRAF. [Earth Negotiations Bulletin coverage of COP 26 side events]

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