News | 01 Mar, 2024

Global partnership to advance Nature-based Solutions pushes for integrated actions to fight climate change, biodiversity loss, and land degradation

Nairobi, Kenya, 1 March (IUCN) – A new report from the ENACT Partnership released today during the Sixth Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-6) concludes that the global community must better integrate actions on climate change, biodiversity loss, and land degradation to best support human well-being, and that governments must increase efforts to implement Nature-based Solutions that can help with all three of those pressing challenges.

“The interconnected crises of climate change, biodiversity loss, and land degradation significantly threaten human equality and well-being. It is no longer tenable to address these crises separately,” said Dr Grethel Aguilar, IUCN Director General.

“The need to integrate approaches and strengthen synergies across global biodiversity and climate frameworks through NbS is why Egypt during its presidency of COP27, alongside Germany and with the support of IUCN, launched the ENACT Partnership at COP27 in November 2022,” said H.E. Dr Yasmine Fouad, Minister of Environment, Arab Republic of Egypt.

“The report lays the foundation for achieving the vision of the ENACT partnership to enhance the accessibility of the best available science for NbS and build coherence around social and environmental safeguards to ensure both long-term success and increased investment in NbS,” said Minister Fouad.

“I am very pleased that we are presenting the first report of the ENACT Partnership today. Faster, better implementation of Nature-based Solutions is needed around the world. The ENACT Partnership can play a key role here. As an alliance of government and non-governmental stakeholders, the primary goal of ENACT is to improve cooperation and financing. Alongside Egypt, Germany has supported and co-chaired the initiative from the beginning. We are advocates for nature-based solutions nationally and internationally. The UNEA resolution on Nature-based Solutions for Supporting Sustainable Development demands it,” said H.E. Steffi Lemke, Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection for the Federal Republic of Germany.

The conclusions are contained within the “State of ENACT NbS Goals Report: Year One Roadmap”, the first summary of the year-old ENACT Partnership, which stands for Enhancing Nature-based Solution for an Accelerated Climate Transformation. The ambitious global Partnership is co-chaired by Egypt and Germany and composed of member-states including Canada, Malawi, the United States of America, the Republic of Korea, and others.

The ENACT Partnership aims to employ Nature-based Solutions, or NbS, to enhance the protection from and resilience to climate impacts of at least 1 billion vulnerable people, secure up to 2.4 billion hectares of ecosystem integrity, and significantly increase global mitigation efforts through protecting and restoring carbon-rich ecosystems.

But despite widespread recognition of the value of NbS – which work with nature, instead of against it – to address the interlocking three global crises, the ENACT report stresses that government efforts and funding have to be better aligned and coordinated to fully unleash their benefits.

“Despite commitments toward integration made under these agreements, governments and funders continue to provide investments in a siloed fashion,” says the report. “Meaning funds and efforts directed at addressing climate change do not always include assurances for enhancing ecosystem integrity nor human well-being.”

In one example of how a country is adopting the right approach, the report cites Canada, which has not only increased its investment in fighting climate change by $315 million, but has also entered a three-year partnership with IUCN to leverage their tools and expertise on NbS for climate and biodiversity.

The ENACT report also says that governments have to support whole-of-government approaches to bring NbS into the mainstream, support the development of global NbS indicators and tools for to track progress towards goals, ensure that NbS is placed at the centre of how resources are mobilised for developing countries, and prioritise increases in funding aimed at women and Indigenous Peoples.

The report makes clear that the success of ENACT in achieving its vision for increased coherence on NbS across the Rio Conventions will only be possible based on the committed participation of its partners and the promotion of cooperation at regional and global levels. Moreover, the report calls for all states and organizations who are not formally a partner of ENACT to join and encourages those with the capacity to support elements of the Partnership’s work plan and objectives to do so.

“The report offers an important reminder that sustainable development requires holistic approaches and collaboration, and that this collaboration is possible with the right vision,” said Dr Aguilar.