COP27 Biodiversity Day: state, business and scientific leaders back urgent action for nature in fight against climate change

Ministers and business leaders joined scientists, UN agencies and development experts at the COP27 climate change conference yesterday to underscore the vital mission of safeguarding the world’s biodiversity to help combat climate change.

November 16 – day 10 of COP27 – was themed Biodiversity Day, with discussions, events, announcements dedicated to joined up, accelerated action to boost biodiversity and work with nature to mitigate climate change and increase climate resilience.  

It is now well recognised that “nature-based solutions” – from protecting and expanding forests, to restoring wetlands and maintaining the health of our oceans – are crucial in helping us act on climate change and lower global temperatures.  

Co-led by the COP27 Presidency and the United Nations Environment Programme, and supported by UNEP-WCMC and many partner organisations, the discussions and announcements at Biodiversity Day underlined the inextricable links between the world’s biodiversity and climate and amplified the political momentum for nature – especially important as climate and nature leaders look ahead to the major decisions of the COP15 UN biodiversity conference next month. 

Political, community and business leaders, non-governmental and youth activists and expert scientific delegates from across the globe were involved in the Biodiversity Day high-level event. The discussion stream opened with a series of rallying speeches from the Egyptian Minister of Environment, Yasmine Fouad, UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretary Simon Stiell and the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity Elizabeth Mrema.  

This day will act as a critical and important milestone on the road to CBD COP15… 

Biodiversity is our life, but it cannot be disconnected from land and from climate, and we need to work together for implementation, from COP27 to COP15.

Yasmine Fouad, Egyptian Minister for the Environment

Delegates discussed the latest science outlining the state of nature and the interdependencies between climate change and biodiversity and showcased commitments and successful approaches to nature-based solutions – including the use of nature-based solutions to protect coastal regions in Egypt and Costa Rica’s journey from being a ‘champion deforester’ to a world leader in forest protection and restoration.  
The day also saw the launch of a new global coalition by the Egyptian COP27 Presidency, other governments and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature – the Enhancing Nature-based Solutions for an Accelerated Climate Transformation partnership – which will work to coordinate global efforts to protect livelihoods, promote sustainable agriculture and increase action to protect and restore nature to mitigate climate change. 
The final high-level sessions of Biodiversity Day focused on policy development and learning, capacity building across sectors and how to realise vital financing for nature and equitable inclusion, and with a clear look ahead to galvanising world leaders to confirming new international targets for nature at COP15.      

We know that we have to tackle the difficult issues, that does include financing, it does include access and benefits sharing and it does include food systems reforms and it does include digital information and sequencing…

The only way we can get a global deal [for nature] is to have a global conversation, so arrive in Montreal [for COP15] with certain things packed in your suitcase: pack courage, pack the promise of the next generation, pack vision and a commitment to make a difference.

Inger Anderson, Executive Director, UNEP

All of the proceedings and discussions of the high level programme from Biodiversity Day can be watched again via the UNFCCC COP27 streaming service.

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