From 31 October to 12 November 2021, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) was held in Glasgow, UK, co-hosted by the government of Italy. The key goals of COP26 were to “secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach; adapt to protect communities and natural habitats; mobilize finance and work together to deliver.” Most importantly, finalizing the Paris Rulebook was key for this climate summit, it is a big step to recognize and include Nature-based Solutions in climate change adaptation.
COP26 reached an agreement in the Glasgow Climate Pact, agreed by all 197 countries. The pact stated:
- Noting the importance of ensuring the integrity of all ecosystems, including in forests, the ocean and the cryosphere, and the protection of biodiversity, recognized by some cultures as Mother Earth, and noting the importance for some of the concept of ‘climate justice’, when taking action to address climate change (CMA.3)
- Emphasizes the importance of protecting, conserving and restoring nature and ecosystems to achieve the Paris Agreement temperature goal, including through forests and other terrestrial and marine ecosystems acting as sinks and reservoirs of greenhouse gases and by protecting biodiversity, while ensuring social and environmental safeguards (CMA.3/38)
Strong recognition was made on nature-based solutions to view nature more than just an offset and see biodiversity and climate as the same problem to align the agenda with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). One of the most important outcomes from COP26 was acknowledging the importance of Nature-based Solutions. Nature plays a critical role in meeting climate change targets and adapting to climate change for the first time. Nature-based Solutions encourages the conservation of ecosystems and biodiversity as the foundation for converting food and agriculture systems to be more sustainable. A nature-based solutions online invest platform was launched in pilot form by Capital for Climate. This platform will help guide institutional investors on how to allocate their capital towards nature-based solutions to climate change, including the members from Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero with over $130 trillion in assets.
Countries from all over the world agreed to keep the goal of limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C within reach as a result of COP26. One of the most important outcomes from COP26 was acknowledging the importance of nature-based solutions. Nature plays a critical role in meeting climate change targets and adapting to climate change. Nature-based solutions encourage the conservation of ecosystems and biodiversity as the foundation for converting food and agriculture systems to be more sustainable. A high-level interactive panel discussion held on 6 November addressed how best to leverage action, policies, programmes, and multistakeholder partnerships to advance the implementation of global agreements such as the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, the Paris Agreement, the goal of Land Degradation Neutrality, the Sustainable Development Goals and other global frameworks, in order to maximize co-benefits and leave no one behind.
Ms. Yoon Lee, External Relations Manager, and Ms. Hyeseon Do, Programme Officer, attended the UNFCCC COP26 representing the East Asian – Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP) Secretariat. The purpose of EAAFP Secretariat’s participation are:
1) Promote the EAAFP and the contribution of EAAFP’s mission, conservation of migratory birds and their habitats, to tackling the Climate Change, and vice versa
2) Advocate the Regional Flyway Initiative (RFI) to developing country partners and multilateral development agencies as well as EAAFP IGO and INGO partners to mobilize joint efforts.
3) Work to set directions for EAAFP’s stance in resource mobilization of the post-2020 Biodiversity Framework led by CBD
4) Consult the EAAFP Chairs of Working Group/Task Force, Finance Sub-Committee to discuss the cooperation in 2022 and the preparation of the MOP11
5) Strengthen and support the partnership with EAAFP Partners and collaborators by having bilateral meetings and visiting their headquarters e.g. WWT, RSPB, Birdlife International etc.
EAAFP Secretariat held bilateral meetings with country delegation regarding the Partnership, updates from the Secretariat, and Regional Flyway Initiative (RFI). The meetings were held with RFI e countries, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, and Bangladesh, and with the Republic of Korea (hosting country for the Secretariat) to brief them about EAAFP and RFI. The Regional Flyway Initiative (RFI), a long-term financing program to scale up the restoration of key wetland ecosystems and sustainable management in the Flyway was launched at the 15th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP15) in Kunming, People’s Republic of China on 14th of October (here) and made its second launching over the COP26 on 2nd of November (here)).
A playback of the side events which EAAFP Secretariat engaged:
2 Nov: “Scaling up the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Initiative” hosted/co-hosted by Asian Development Bank, together with BirdLife International
4 Nov: “Financing wetlands conservation and restoration for climate benefits” hosted by Ramsar Convention on Wetlands
7 Nov: “Coast to Coast: nature-based solutions for climate, biodiversity and people” hosted/co-hosted by Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB, Birdlife UK Partner), together with Environment Agency (EA)
10 Nov: “Discussing The East Asian Australasian Flyway Initiative” hosted/co-hosted by Cambridge Conservation Initiative (CCI) and BirdLife International
The EAAFP Partners engaged in COP26 and here are some of their press release and articles:
- Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat & Peatland Partners
- BirdLife International
- Wetlands International (WI)
- Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT)
- The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands
- Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF)
- International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Read Glasgow Climate Pact: https://unfccc.int/sites/default/files/resource/cma3_auv_2_cover%20decision.pdf