On Nature, Lands and Oceans Day, the Marrakech Partnership on Oceans and Coastal Zones and Land Use took audience members on an ‘adventure’ from land to ocean to showcase initiatives to reverse biodiversity decline, increase ecosystem and human resilience to climate change, and achieve a sustainable balance within planetary boundaries.
The whole nature system, from land to the Ocean, is a fundamental pillar of climate action for a resilient, net-zero, and biodiversity-positive world. This event, organized on Nature, Lands and Oceans Day, by the Marrakech Partnership on Land Use and Ocean & Coastal Zones, the High Level Climate Champions, the Ocean & Climate Platform, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), showcased initiatives across land and the Ocean spearheaded by non-state actors to reverse biodiversity decline by 2030, increase ecosystem and human resilience to climate change, and achieve a sustainable balance within planetary boundaries.
The three-segment event was emceed by Liva Kaugure, FAO, and Loreley Picourt, Executive Director, Ocean & Climate Platform, who acknowledged that this was the first time the Marrakech Partnership on Ocean and Coastal Zones and Land Use thematic areas have come together to celebrate nature’s importance in addressing the climate crisis. They presented the event’s structure as an “adventure” from land to the Ocean in three segments: hiking, surfing, and diving.
In opening remarks, Razan Al Mubarak, UN Climate Change High Level Champion for COP 28, highlighted the “significant strides” that have been made this year to support a nature-positive future, and emphasized that nature represents the most cost effective and scalable tool to address climate change.
David Obura, Chair, Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), stressed the need for integrated approaches to climate and biodiversity, acknowledging that while solutions exist, there is need to bring attention to them and translate them to actions on the ground.
The first panel, moderated by Josefina Braña Varela, World Wildlife Fund-US (WWF-US), reflected on the experiences of non-state actors working to support sustainable land use. Julian Hill-Landolt, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), highlighted the importance of the forthcoming UNFCCC Net-Zero Recognition and Accountability Framework to support the harmonization of standard setting to help investors align their actions in support of the nature agenda.
Melissa Garvey, The Nature Conservancy, highlighted the Joint Declaration and Task Force on Credit Enhancement of Sustainability-Linked Sovereign Financing for Nature and Climate launched at COP 28, and the role of sovereign debt refinancing to alleviate the increasing debt loads in climate vulnerable countries. Jennifer Corpuz, Nia Tero, underscored the need to engage with Indigenous Peoples to support the 30x30 commitment agreed to in the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Framework, pointing to scientific evidence showing that Indigenous Peoples are more effective stewards of lands in areas where their territories are secure.
Ayadi Mishra, Youth Representative to the UN Decade of Restoration Advisory Board, provided a youth perspective on the “tipping point” between “greed and necessities” we are facing and the need to address over-consumptive lifestyles.
In a second panel on the interconnection between land and sea, Moderator Ignace Beguin, Climate Champions Team, said climate and biodiversity crises threaten over 1 billion people living in coastal zones and pointed to the important role of coastal communities in building resilience.
Abdou Karim Sall, Joal-Fadouth Marine Protected Area, Senegal, said it was his experience as a fisherman witnessing dwindling fish stock that led him to create a mangrove restoration and biodiversity awareness programme across 14 regions of Senegal.
Moafanua Tolusina Pouli, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Samoa, described community-integrated management plans to determine, along with communities, “what to conserve, where to farm, and what to protect.”
Megan Morikawa, Iberostar Hotels, said the private sector can contribute to coastal ecosystem restoration beyond finance, citing her experience leaving academia for the hospitality sector as an example.
Gabriel Muswali, Eastern Africa Fisheries Non-State Actors Platform (EARFISH), Kenya, described awareness raising campaigns on sustainable fish production in his community and welcomed the increased focus on aquatic food systems at COP 28.
Merriwether Wilson and Sandy Tudhope, Co-Founders and Co-Directors, Edinburgh Ocean Leaders, alongside Imogen Napper, National Geographic Explorer, took time between segments to announce the 2024 cohort of Edinburgh Ocean Leaders, who will work alongside a network of ocean professionals to support ocean research and marine conservation in their communities.
The final segment, moderated by Shamini Selvaratnam, Ocean Conservancy, focused on solutions to support ocean conservation and coastal resilience, in connection to the Ocean Breakthroughs. Minna Epps, IUCN, noted the success we have seen in promoting Nature-based Solutions Dialogues for the Ocean but said that the solutions themselves are threatened by climate change.
Manuel Barange, FAO, emphasized the link between food security and climate action, noting the additional 165,000 mouths that will have to be fed each day between now and 2050. Antonella Battaglini, CEO, Renewables Grid Initiative, highlighted the need to reconcile climate, energy, and nature to scale up renewable energy infrastructure. She emphasized collaboration with coastal communities in offshore energy projects.
Anna Lindstedt, Ambassador for the Ocean, Sweden, noted the positive developments we have seen on ocean policy through the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction Agreement but also that more resources are needed to support the Ocean, noting that Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 (life below water) is the least funded of the SDGs.
Ana Paula Leite Prates, Ministry of the Environment, Brazil, provided closing remarks, highlighting the work her country is doing in advance of hosting COP 30, including to addressing deforestation and supporting marine ecosystems in support of the CBD’s 30x30 target and the Global Stocktake.
Organizer: Marrakech Partnership on Land Use and Ocean & Coastal Zones, High Level Climate Champions, Ocean & Climate Platform, FAO and IUCN
Contact: Cyrielle Lam I email@example.com
More information: https://ocean-climate.org/