The solutions to modern environmental crises not only build off each other to protect the planet but can support prosperity for people everywhere.
That was the central message at the high-level opening of the Rio Conventions Pavilion at the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). The event brought together leaders within each of the areas covered by the three Rio Conventions to explore synergies in global efforts to reverse land degradation, climate change, and biodiversity loss.
The event focused on the agenda of UNCCD COP 15 as well as the ambitious upcoming COPs of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP15 in Kunming, China) and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 27 in Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt). Speakers outlined their hopes and expectations regarding the ways the coordinated actions of the three Conventions contribute to intergenerational justice by preserving nature’s wealth and health.
More specifically, the event sought to:
- promote high-level attention to synergies between the Rio Conventions as well as the Paris Agreement, the still-under-negotiation global biodiversity framework, and land degradation neutrality targets;
- emphasize the importance of integrated approaches at the global and national levels in implementing the Rio Conventions; and
- outline key areas for joint action under each Convention’s process and Global Environment Facility (GEF) financing objectives, as well as raise ambition that can be translated into concrete actions.
The events key messages included that:
- the Rio Conventions address three facets of a single global sustainability challenge;
- the GEF's catalytic investments will be essential to achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement, the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, land degradation neutrality, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
- the Rio Conventions serve as multilateral instruments to help countries develop national plans for achieving their development priorities for current and future generations; and
- during the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030, key action areas focused on land restoration must be advanced under each Convention’s process in a coordinated manner.
Speakers at the event included:
- Elizabeth Mrema, CBD Executive Secretary;
- Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, GEF CEO and Chairperson;
- Usha Rao-Monari, Under-Secretary-General and UN Development Programme (UNDP) Associate Administrator;
- Julian Wright, Senior Advisor for Climate Change, Environment Agency, UK;
- Jigmet Takpa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, India;
- Nahla Noobi, Acting Head of Terrestrial Biodiversity, Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, United Arab Emirates (UAE); and
- Florika Fink-Hooijer, Director General, Environment, European Commission.
The event was moderated by Gabrielle Lipton, Global Landscape Forum. Andrea Meza Murillo, UNCCD Deputy Executive Secretary, officially opened the Rio Conventions Pavilion.
The event took place the evening of 10 May 2022, and was hosted by the three Rio Conventions, namely the UNCCD, CBD, and UNFCCC. The Rio Conventions Pavilion is taking place from 10-18 May on the sidelines of UNCCD COP 15 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire