Nature @ COP 27 Daily Brief – Nov. 11

Briefing Room 11.11.22

Posted by Patricia da Matta
COP 27 is finally here and in addition to an exciting events schedule and news coming out of the Nature Zone and Nature’s Newsroom, we are keeping our eyes and ears out for anything nature related inside the Blue Zone. Our Daily Nature Brief at COP27 will be coming out every morning from 7-18 November with an inside scoop into the most important climate conference of the year. Don’t forget to subscribe to receive the brief directly in your email.

Is the glass half full, or half empty? Well, if you’ve tried to fill up your glass at the Sharm conference center, then it’s probably the latter. Seriously though, logistical challenges aside, some aspects of the climate summit have fallen below expectations, while there have also been bright spots. So far, few countries have made significant new climate commitments, there is not yet a clear vision for the COP outcome, and despite some encouraging pieces, the finance elements still aren’t there yet. On the other hand, many have come to COP with a “roll up your sleeves” mentality to demonstrate real progress. From our vantage point in the Nature Zone, we’ve been incredibly impressed with the concrete updates, opportunities and challenges being spotlighted in discussions and side events. More to come on that, but in the meantime, if anyone finds internet at the venue, let us know! 

Day 4 Round Up 

  • $350 million for NBS. The Climate Investment Funds (CIF), one of the world’s largest multilateral funds for climate action in developing countries, announced that it will finance nature-based solutions to the climate crisis in Egypt, the Dominican Republic, Fiji, Kenya, and Africa’s Zambezi River Basin Region, which cuts across Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, and Tanzania. This is the first set of countries and regions to benefit from CIF’s Nature, People, and Climate (CIF NPC) investment platform, launched in June 2022. To start, several sovereign donors including Italy, the United Kingdom, and Sweden have pledged more than $350 million to capitalize CIF NPC, which pilots and scales transformative nature-based climate solutions in developing countries.
  • US Restoration. The U.S. Chapter of — a broad-based coalition of companies, subnational governments, and nonprofits — has announced a goal to conserve, restore and grow over 55 billion trees in support of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration and as part of a global effort to conserve, restore and grow one trillion trees by 2030.
  • Trillion Trees + Restor. Trillion Trees, a joint venture between BirdLife International, Wildlife Conservation Society and WWF focused on the protection and restoration of forests, has joined forces with the science-based open data platform Restor, to contribute valuable data from its restoration sites.
  • Adaptation. A group of more than 85 insurers in Africa created the African Climate Risk Facility (ACRF), and pledged to provide $14 billion of cover to help the continent deal with climate disaster risks like floods and droughts.
  • Cocoa in Côte d’IvoireTrase released new data released revealing that cocoa farming swallowed 2.4 million ha of forest in Côte d’Ivoire between 2000 and 2019, an area almost the size of Rwanda. Trase also released new data on CO2 emissions from deforestation linked with soy in Brazil.
  • Indoor Wheat. Infarm successfully demonstrates the tremendous potential of indoor-grown wheat. Leading vertical farming company Infarm and co-host of the Food Systems Pavilion at COP 27 has successfully produced wheat in an indoor farm, using no soil, no chemical pesticides and much less water compared to open field farming.
  • True Value of Food Initiative announced a Call to Action to governments across the globe to make healthy, sustainable, affordable food the new normal by committing to increasing the True Value of Food.
  • Climate Science. Future Earth, the Earth League, and the World Climate Research Programme published their 10 New Insights in Climate Science 2022 report, an annual synthesis of the the latest climate change related research for the international science-policy community.

Mangroves, Seagrass and Reefs, Oh My

  • Mangrove Breakthrough. The Global Mangrove Alliance in collaboration with the UN Climate Change High-level Champions have identified the need for a unified global approach towards mangrove conservation and are calling for signatories to the Mangrove Breakthrough launched today at UNFCCC COP27. The Mangrove Breakthrough is a science-based, measurable, and achievable target for non-state actors and governments to collectively restore and protect mangroves at the scale needed to secure the future of these vital coastal forests. The Mangrove Breakthrough aims to secure the future of 15 million hectares of mangroves globally by 2030, seeing investments of 4 billion USD by 2030 to conserve and revitalize these coastal ecosystems.
  • Mangrove Alliance for Climate (MAC). MAC was launched yesterday. It is an intergovernmental alliance that seeks to expand and hasten the progress towards the conservation and restoration of mangrove ecosystems. Its members include the UAE, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Japan, and Spain. The alliance will raise global awareness about the role of mangroves as a nature-based climate change solution. It will ensure the rehabilitation of mangrove forests at the global level.
  • Seagrass. The Pew Charitable Trusts launched a broad, multilateral effort to map seagrass in the Indian Ocean with field verification in specific countries. Mapping seagrass is a fundamental step in recognizing the benefits that can be included within climate strategies such as nationally determined contributions to the Paris Agreement. Seagrasses are one of the most important, yet undervalued, ecosystems on the planet. Among a range of other benefits they provide, seagrass meadows are highly efficient at storing carbon, which makes them one of only three “blue carbon” ecosystems (along with mangroves and salt marshes) recognised by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for the measurable contribution they can make to countries’ emission reduction goals.
  • Blue Mediterranean Partnership. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) announced the creation of the Blue Mediterranean Partnership, which aims to support the development of a sustainable blue economy in the European Union’s Southern Neighbourhood countries in the Mediterranean region.
  • Red Sea Initiative. The US Government launched the Red Sea initiative — a new initiative aiming to conserve the Red Sea’s coastal ecosystem while promoting high-value, low-environmental impact eco-tourism. Through an initial US government contribution of $15 million, the initiative plans to protect the Red Sea’s coral reefs and surrounding coastal ecosystems against the impacts of climate change and human activity.

Koronivia Chaos

As of last night, it seems the future of how these negotiations deal with agriculture may be in peril. The Koronivia Dialogueis the space where ‘sustainable agriculture’ is discussed. Its current mandate is about to come to a close, and in efforts to continue it, there have been increasing calls for it to widen its scope to include more than just the production of food and only through a climate lens, but include more emphasis on food systems (consumption, food loss and waste, and nutrition) and other planetary limits. Delays in text outlining Koronivia’s future have opened a question of whether a decision will be made in time ahead of today’s deadline for countries to come up with a proposal. Early reports are that some progress was made last night; we’ll keep you briefed on progress (or lack of it) in tomorrow’s issue.

Indigenous-led REDD+ Programs in the Amazon

4:45pm – 5:45pm, 11 November, We Mean Business Coalition Pavilion, Auditorium A (COP27)

This four-speaker panel (two Indigenous speakers and two representing conservation NGOs) will spotlight nature-based climate solutions from two multi-stakeholder REDD+ programs in the Ecuadorian and Peruvian Amazon respectively.  We will explore how each of these programs facilitates Indigenous participation, leadership, and meaningful benefits-sharing. The event will be live-streamed. The event will be partially in Spanish but translated into English in real time. All speakers will address the role businesses have in supporting these initiatives.