Essential Outcomes on Nature-based Solutions for the Global Stocktake
Briefing Room 06.09.23
Photo: Dave Isoog/Unsplash
Jointly prepared by the Nature for Climate Coalition (N4C), this brief recommends draft text options that Parties can use to capture essential outcomes on nature-based solutions for the consideration of outputs component of the first global stocktake (GST-CO). Our recommendations help answer the GST-CO guiding questions.
Nature-based solutions (NbS) in terrestrial, coastal, and marine areas are critical tools to accelerate the transition to a nature-positive, net zero future, while providing climate adaptation benefits and driving positive impact at scale to conserve biodiversity and improve livelihoods . We will not reach our global climate and biodiversity goals without halting and reversing nature loss by 2030, while rapidly phasing out the use of fossil fuels. Notably, emissions from the Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry sector must reach net zero more quickly than any other sector – by or shortly after 2030 .
Moreover, delayed action will reduce the capacity of NbS to enhance the resilience of ecosystems and communities and to avert and minimize loss and damage, with some ecosystems already reaching their hard and soft limits for adaptation . In short, the majority of NbS implementation must take place BEFORE the second GST, and this first GST is the best opportunity to guide the needed course corrections and acceleration.
On collective progress, opportunities, and challenges toward achieving the Paris Agreement goals (guiding questions 1 and 2), N4C recommends the GST outcome:
- Welcomes the advancements in scientific understanding and evidence about the critical and cost-effective  role of high-integrity NbS to achieve the Paris Agreement goals, and recognizes that NbS can deliver up to one-third of the mitigation needed by 2030 , while strengthening ecosystems and communities’ resilience to climate change, conserving biodiversity, and reducing the risk of climate change feedbacks and impacts.
- Recognizes the integral role that Indigenous peoples, local communities, women, youth, and ethnic minorities play in successful, locally led nature-based climate action, especially for avoiding maladaptation.
- Recognizes that transforming management practices across working landscapes, seascapes, and food systems is central to achieving the Paris Agreement goals, thus enabling Parties to implement NbS, delivering a just rural transition, and enhancing global food security.
- Welcomes the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF)  adopted at CBD COP15, which encourages action on NbS implementation in several key targets, and recognizes the need for increased collective action across the Rio conventions.
- Welcomes the increase in political momentum and collective action for NbS as a solution to the climate and biodiversity crises, such as the Glasgow Leader’s Declaration on Forests & Land Use, the Forest Climate Leaders Partnership, the ENACT Partnership , and the Belem Declaration. 
- Expresses alarm that terrestrial, coastal, and marine ecosystems – including many high-carbon or “irrecoverable carbon” ecosystems – have continued to be rapidly degraded and converted, and that more than $1.8 trillion in annual subsidies drive this land-use change , exacerbating the climate and biodiversity crises, impairing ecosystem functions and service provisioning, and pushing some ecosystems close to collapse. 
- Notes with utmost concern the significant climate financing gap for NbS, which is many times larger than for other climate solutions , and stresses that only 2.5% of mitigation funding goes to the agriculture, forestry and other land use (AFOLU) sector (an order of magnitude below its potential proportional contribution)  and that ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) only receives one-fifth of global adaptation finance. 
- Welcomes the progress of Parties to include NbS in their NDCs, and stresses the numerous opportunities to close the ambition gap via NbS, including by broadening the scope to include more ecosystems  – especially grasslands, peatlands,  coastal and marine areas  – and expanding quantitative NbS targets, especially for sustainable management in productive areas .
- Welcomes the outcomes of the Ocean and Climate Dialogues, including the essential role of ocean and coastal NbS in ambitious climate mitigation and adaptation action, and the identified opportunities to fill gaps, build capacity and strengthen ocean-based climate action under the UNFCCC.
- Welcomes the outcomes of the Glasgow-Sharm El-Sheikh work programme on the global goal on adaptation, which enable accelerated progress on adaptation action, including prioritizing and scaling EbA.
- Welcomes the collective progress to fund REDD+ readiness, implementation, and results-based payments.
- Recognizes the significant gaps in capacity, policy, and institutional frameworks that must be addressed to enable and accelerate national and collective action to implement NbS.
- Recognizes that current IPCC GHG accounting practices focusing on carbon flows may unintentionally obscure impacts of climate action on stable carbon sinks.
- Notes with concern the slow pace of progress to operationalize Article 6 mechanisms and the lack of funding to create enabling conditions in developing country Parties to implement Article 6 and ensure the transparency and environmental integrity of the market and non-market mechanisms.
On key political messages and next steps to achieve the Paris Agreement goals (questions 3 and 4), N4C recommends the GST outcome:
- Calls on all Parties to urgently protect, restore, and sustainably manage nature – especially irrecoverable, high carbon ecosystems, such as old-growth forests and blue carbon ecosystems – through implementing and scaling NbS in line with the GBF to deliver an integrated approach to addressing the climate and biodiversity crises, and stresses the need for effective and equitable conservation of approximately 30% to 50% of Earth’s land, freshwater and ocean areas, including currently near-natural ecosystems, to maintain the resilience of biodiversity and ecosystem services at a global scale.
- Requests all Parties to communicate new, enhanced NDCs and LT-LEDS and encourages Parties to include specific targets, policies, measures and actions that deploy high-integrity NbS to mitigate, adapt to, and avert, minimize and address loss and damage from climate change, including by accelerating transitions to low-carbon food systems, scaling nature-based ocean-climate action, and rapidly transforming energy systems, among others, ensuring alignment with scenarios for limiting global temperature rise to 1.5C, ensuring an adequate adaptation response, and their National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans.
- Calls on Parties and the international community to align global financial flows with halting the destruction and degradation of nature, such as through disclosure and due diligence regulations and phasing down harmful subsidies, and to fund and scale existing political ambition to drive implementation of NbS.
- Strongly urges Parties to at least quadruple annual domestic and international financing for AFOLU sector climate action by 2025, with a view to increasing annual finance flows to NbS by at least 10 times by 2030, through both traditional and innovative mechanisms, such as results-based payments for REDD+, Article 6 transactions, high-integrity carbon markets and carbon pricing, debt for nature swaps, and green bonds , among others.
- Calls upon Parties to incentivize the transition to sustainable and regenerative agriculture and agroecological practices that reduce emissions and enhance soil and biogenic carbon stocks by 2030, while also enhancing food security, ecosystem health, biodiversity, and livelihoods.
- Urges Parties to scale and accelerate locally led approaches to achieve transformative EbA action to advance climate resilient development, sustainable livelihoods, human security, and ecological integrity.
- Requests Parties to implement rights-based approaches and apply environmental and social safeguards to climate action efforts across all sectors as integral elements of successful adaptation and mitigation action in critical ecosystems, landscapes, and seascapes to ensure they protect biodiversity and drive a just transition.
- Urges all Parties to advance inclusive decision-making processes, multi-sectoral policies and governance systems needed to fast-track NbS implementation, especially by clarifying property rights and land tenure prioritizing and funding enforcement of existing regulations, developing economic incentives needed to diversify income sources in rural areas, and advancing measures to address the impact of commodity production on habitat loss.
- Also calls upon developed country Parties to urgently advance partnerships to build the capacity, MRV, technology and transparency systems needed in developing country Parties to improve knowledge transfer, accountability, and coordination mechanisms requisite for effective AFOLU sector governance.
- Encourages all Parties to adopt interoperable and transparent data systems to advance NbS across the Rio Conventions  especially The UN ‘System of Environmental Economic Accounting – Ecosystem Accounts’ as an improved information base to guide ecosystem-based climate action.
N4C calls on the GST outcome to support this high-level ambition for the role of NbS and our proposed ‘10 critical no regrets actions to accelerate NbS’.
1. IUCN. (2020) Global Standard for Nature-based Solutions. A user-friendly framework for the verification, design and scaling up of NbS. First edition. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN. https://portals.iucn.org/library/sites/library/files/documents/2020-020-En.pdf.
2. IPCC. (2023) Synthesis Report of the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) – Longer Report. See Figure 4.1.
3. IPCC. (2023) Summary for Policymakers. In: Climate Change 2023: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Core Writing Team, H. Lee and J. Romero (eds.)]. IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland, pp. 1-34, doi: 10.59327/IPCC/AR6-9789291691647.001. See para. A.3.
4. ibid. See Figure SPM.7
5. Griscom, B.W., J. Adams, P.W. Ellis, et al. (2017) Natural climate solutions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(44):11645–11650. DOI: 10.1073/ pnas.1710465114
6. Seddon, N. and Smith, A., et al. (2021) Getting the message right on nature-based solutions to climate change. Global Change Biology. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gcb.15513.
7. IPCC. (2023) Synthesis Report of the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) – Longer Report.
8. Conservation International. (2022) www.conservation.org/roadmap
9. Convention on Biological Diversity. (2022) Decision adopted by the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity 15/4. Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. https://www.cbd.int/doc/decisions/cop-15/cop-15-dec-04-en.pdf.
10. IUCN. (2023) ENACT: Enhancing Nature-based Solutions for an Accelerated Climate Transformation. https://www.iucn.org/our-work/topic/nature-based-solutions-climate/our-work/enact-enhancing-nature-based-solutions.
11. Brazil Ministry of Exterior Relations. (2023). Declaração Presidencial por ocasião da Cúpula da Amazônia – IV Reunião de Presidentes dos Estados Partes no Tratado de Cooperação Amazônica
12. The B Team. (2023) Global destruction of nature being subsidized by $1.8 trillion annually. https://bteam.org/our-thinking/news/reform-1-8-trillion-yearly-environmentally-harmful-subsidies-to-deliver-a-nature-positive-economy/.
13. Goldstein, A., Turner, W. R., Spawn, S. A., Anderson-Teixeira, K. J., Cook-Patton, et al. (2020) Protecting irrecoverable carbon in Earth’s ecosystems. Nature Climate Change, 10(4), 287–295. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-020-0738-8;
14. IPCC. (2023) Synthesis Report of the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) – Longer Report. See Figure 4.6.
15. IPCC. (2022) Climate Change 2022 Mitigation of Climate Change Working Group III Contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. See Chapter 7
16. Climate Policy Initiative. (2021). Global Landscape of Climate Finance 2021.
17. Bakhtary, H., et al. (2021) NDCs – A Force for Nature? World Wide Fund for Nature. https://wwfint.awsassets.panda.org/downloads/wwf_uk_ndcs_a_force_for_nature_3rd_edition.pdf.
18. De Valença, A., et al. (2022) Nature-based Solutions (NbS) Policy Tracker. Nature4Climate. https://devn4c.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/NbSTracker2N4C_Report_final.pdf
19. Lecerf, M., Herr D., Thomas, T., Elverum, C., Delrieu, E. and Picourt, L. (2021) Coastal and marine ecosystems as Nature-based Solutions in new or updated Nationally Determined Contributions.
20. Conservation International. (2022) www.conservation.org/roadmap; IPCC. (2022) Climate Change 2022 Mitigation of Climate Change Working Group III Contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. See Chapter 7
21. IPCC. (2022) Climate Change 2022 Mitigation of Climate Change Working Group III Contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. See Chapter 7
22. IPCC. (2023) Summary for Policymakers. See para. C.3.6
23. IPCC. (2023) Synthesis Report of the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) – Longer Report. See Figure 4.6.
24. IPCC. (2022) Climate Change 2022 Mitigation of Climate Change Working Group III Contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. See Technical Summary, pg. 135
25. IPCC. (2023) Summary for Policymakers. See para. C.3.6
26. IPCC. (2019) Summary for Policymakers. In: Climate Change and Land: an IPCC special report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems [P.R. Shukla, J. Skea, E. Calvo Buendia, V. Masson-Delmotte, H.- O. Pörtner, D. C. Roberts, P. Zhai, R. Slade, S. Connors, R. van Diemen, M. Ferrat, E. Haughey, S. Luz, S. Neogi, M. Pathak, J. Petzold, J. Portugal Pereira, P. Vyas, E. Huntley, K. Kissick, M. Belkacemi, J. Malley, (eds.)]. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009157988.001 See para C.1.2.
27. This includes alignment with the monitoring framework for the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (CBD/COP/DEC/15/5) adopted at CBD COP15, which will be used to track and report on the national implementation of the Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF). Indicators most relevant to advancing NbS across Rio Conventions include climate regulation services provided by ecosystems by ecosystem type (using UN SEEA methodology), and national GHG inventories for land use and land use change, as included in the GBF monitoring framework.
In short, the majority of NbS implementation must take place BEFORE the second GST, and this first GST is the best opportunity to guide the needed course corrections and acceleration.