Nature’s Place in the Race: A Call to Action

Hosted by: WWF

This session laid out the critical role that non-state actors have played in elevating the importance of nature in both adaptation and mitigation ambition, and to scale specific nature-based solutions. An acceleration plan was presented to the COP High Level Champions that outlines what needs to be done by COP26 to realize the systemic change promised by nature-based solutions – to truly deliver on the potential of ‘nature’s place in the race’.

“We have a plan to accelerate action – recognising that we are less mature than other economic sectors but we have all the elements to be an active part of this race.”
Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Global Leader Climate and Energy, WWF


“What do we need over the next 12 months? With governments and businesses, pathways to net zero must include both decarbonisation and nature-based solutions. And practically speaking, you need to ensure that any funding via offsetting can only come from those who have credible decarbonisation plans. Any investment in nature must support action that is people-led and biodiversity-based.”
Nathalie Seddon, Director, Nature-based Solutions Initiative, Oxford University


“It is very important to see how the traditional knowledge and technology can help. We cannot do that if we do not support what indigenous people are doing. How much are we paying indigenous people – who are protecting 80% of the world’s biodiversity? We are paying zero. We need indigenous people to be in the decision-making, especially when all the decision making will be online.”
Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, President, AFPAT


“As we are questioning our humanity, our institutions, we have to understand that transition – we need to first reforest our minds. To guarantee effective participation of young people, we have to guarantee access to information, accountability, transparency. We need to guarantee real green jobs. You all know the reports about young people have lost their jobs during Covid. If we are not together, we are already lost.”
Paloma Costa, UNSG Youth Advocacy Group on Climate Change, Brazil


“Sub-national governments such as cities are in a unique position to deliver outreach – about the role of nature. We can facilitate engagement with key stakeholders. Covid 19 has reminded us how important it is to live in harmony with nature. Healthy ecosystems and economies that nature provides are fundamental to human well being – and the lives of everyone in cities.”
Veronica Arias, Executive Director, CC35


We celebrate the outcomes document and acceleration plan. We commit to taking this forward. These outcomes are really important steps in delivering the Paris Agreement, the NBS Manifesto and the Leaders Pledge. We can and must enhance resilience with the race zero and become nature-positive by 2030.”
Gonzalo Muñoz, Chilean COP Champion

Watch the session


Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, WWF; Gonzalo Muñoz, Chilean COP Champion; Nathalie Seddon, Nature-based Solutions Initiative, Oxford University; Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, AFPAT; Paloma Costa, UNSG Youth Advocacy Group on Climate Change, Brazil; Veronica Arias, CC35; Nigel Topping, High Level Champion, COP26.

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