News | 23 Oct, 2023

Accelerating Climate Transformation through Nature

Highlighting the ENACT-ing a Billion Campaign for integrated action on climate and biodiversity 

Geneva, Switzerland – The high-level panel, Accelerating Climate Transformation through Nature was held as part of IUCN's 2nd annual Leaders Forum on Friday the 13th of October. The discussion highlighted The ENACT Partnership and the ENACT-ing a Billion campaign as a means to accelerate global action on climate change, biodiversity loss, and reducing land and ecosystem degradation.  

The campaign aims to accelerate the implementation of high-integrity Nature-based Solutions (NbS) and is set to operationalise the ENACT Partnership (Enhancing Nature-based Solutions for Accelerated Climate Transformation) initiated by the Egyptian COP Presidency in collaboration with the Government of Germany and IUCN. 

The ENACT Partnership is a rapidly growing global network of both state and non-state actors committed to enhancing the resilience of at least 1 billion vulnerable people, securing up to 2.4 billion hectares of healthy natural ecosystems, and significantly increasing global mitigation efforts through the conservation and restoration of carbon-rich terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems. 

The ENACT-ing a Billion campaign will focus on three prime catalysing actions to drive progress toward the ENACT NbS Goals: 

  1. Policy Cohesion: The campaign will support enhanced alignment on global NbS action and communication across the Rio Conventions to address climate change, biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation. 

  1. Financing: The campaign will accelerate integrated action on climate and biodiversity through strategic co-financing to existing funding mechanisms.  

  1. Technical Assistance: The campaign will build global knowledge capacity on implementing NbS through sector-specific guidance that leverages IUCN's expertise and tools for addressing biodiversity loss and climate change, such as the IUCN Global Standard for NbS, the STAR Metric, and the Contributions for Nature Platform. 

Ultimately the campaign will operationalise the ENACT Partnership NbS Goals and equip actors with the necessary knowledge and resources to drive meaningful change. 

The event, moderated by Mr. Stewart Maginnis, Deputy Director General of IUCN, brought together a distinguished panel of speakers to shed light on the campaign's mission and its implications for global climate, biodiversity and ecosystem efforts. 

Mr. Tamer Abou Gharara, Advisor to the Minister of the Environment of the Arab Republic of Egypt (H.E. Dr. Yasmine Fouad), took the stage to provide an introduction to ENACT. He outlined the vision and mission behind ENACT and delved into the NbS Goals, emphasising how the campaign would operationalise these goals to bring about tangible change. 

The panel discussion featured prominent figures representing state and non-state actors: H.E. Ms. Zakia Khattabi, Minister of Climate Environment Sustainable Development and the Green Deal, Belgium; Mr. Saber Hossain Chowdhury, Member of Bangladesh Parliament (Dhaka 9 constituency) and Honorary President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU); Ms. Cathi Li, Deputy Chair, IUCN Climate Crisis Commission; Mr. Yutaka Matsuzawa, Vice-Minister for Global Environmental Affairs, Japan; and the previously mentioned Mr. Tamer Abou Gharara, Advisor to the Minister of the Environment of the Arab Republic of Egypt. 

The panel discussion opened with a context-setting question by Stewart Maginnis, who asked all the speakers to identify the key gaps in global action on biodiversity loss and climate change and explain why these gaps persist despite increasing attention to integrating solutions for both issues. The topic of agenda integration was a common topic raised. Mr. Gharara pinpointed the action separation between climate and biodiversity as a key gap. He urged actors to refrain from working in isolation on these topics and heralded NbS as a critical approach to help unify action on biodiversity and climate. H.E. Ms. Khattabi echoed these remarks and identified the governance of climate and biodiversity issues as an area requiring greater alignment – underlining that all government ministries have a role to play in addressing climate change and biodiversity loss.   

The first round of individual panel questions addressed specific nations and their role in the ENACT Partnership, alongside exploring vital enabling factors. H.E. Ms. Khattabi of Belgium discussed how the partnership could facilitate Belgium's global commitments to both biodiversity preservation and addressing climate change and outlined priority actions aligned with these goals. Mr. Chowdhury from Bangladesh explored how the ENACT Partnership could help Bangladesh achieve its domestic ambitions for biodiversity preservation and addressing climate change. Ms. Li delved into the often-overlooked actors in increasing global ambitions for biodiversity preservation and climate change solutions and how the ENACT Partnership could engage them more effectively. Mr. Matsuzawa of Japan explained how the partnership could maximise linkages between partners to ensure coherent and consistent progress on high-integrity NbS for addressing climate change and biodiversity loss. Mr. Gharara provided insights into how the ENACT Partnership would work to address the barriers to more effective action on a global scale. 

The second round of individual panel questions continued the discussion with a focus on actions that ENACT Partners should prioritise to accelerate the integration of global funding and financing for biodiversity and climate change. H.E. Ms. Khattabi opened the discussion by confirming Belgium’s entry into the ENACT partnership and expressed her delight at this collaboration. Following the announcement, Mr. Chowdhury emphasised that the ENACT Partners and the Partnership at large will derive the most value by ensuring it’s a two-way process: The Partnership generating outputs to help enhance and integrate NbS into climate and biodiversity activities in conjunction with Partner countries contributing to the pool of expertise and knowledge gained through previous NbS action on these fronts. 

The second round culminated in a Q&A between speakers and audience members online and in person. A variety of intriguing topics were put forward, including nurturing connections with philanthropic entities, stimulating private sector contributions and utilising ENACT to enhance concrete synergies across the Rio Conventions.   

As the event concluded, Mr. Maginnis summarised the key points from the discussion and highlighted the next key steps for ENACT. He expressed gratitude to the panellists for their invaluable contributions and brought the session to a close.  

The launch of the ENACT-ing a Billion campaign marks a significant milestone in the global effort to combat climate change, biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation. With a focus on NbS and a growing network of committed actors, the campaign promises to make a meaningful impact on the protection and resilience of vulnerable populations and the health of natural ecosystems.