#NatureNow wrap up — Sunday 22nd September

News 22.09.19


Sunday 22nd September

From Gucci to Gabon — leaders call for nature to be protected, restored, funded as climate crisis goes mainstream

Countries are waking up to nature’s potential as a climate solution with more than 20 countries, representing more than a third of the world’s population, responding to a call from China and New Zealand to increase support for nature-based solutions at the UN Climate Action Summit this week. With almost 200 existing nature-based initiatives submitted as part of China and New Zealand’s call to action, strong rallying calls echoed inside and outside the UN.

Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, Costa Rica’s Minister of Environment and Energy highlighted the new global campaign for nature saying that ‘our grandchildren will not understand why we hunt lions, jaguars, overfish our ocean and log our primary forests.’ He added, ‘In Costa Rica, we have restored 1.1 million hectares of degraded landscapes and been using nature as a way to address climate change. Other neighboring countries that have not been able to reverse deforestation, are more vulnerable to climate impacts.’

Businesses have a critical role to play: Danone’s CEO Emmanuel Faber said that we ‘have a whole generation telling us that they want change. We must ‘move away from systems that are killing soil health and actually restore soil health and restore diversity in our crops.’

Outside of the UN, a powerful opening ceremony launched the Nature’s Climate Hub. Sachem HawkStorm of the Schaghticoke First Nation welcomed participants to the lands of his ancestors. He was joined by Tzam Tigre Tzamarenda, a Shuar shaman from the Ecuadorian rainforest, as well as by Chief Tashka Yawanawa of the Yawanawa Peoples in Brazil.

Chief Yawanawa said that some communities had made the ultimate sacrifice in the fight to protect nature adding that ‘the Indigenous across the world have fought, sacrificed and died. And, they keep killing our leaders to allow development to continue. Now is a moment of action, not talking.’

Minister Lee White of Gabon said that the commitment to save the Congo basin forests was critical because if ‘we lose the Congo basin forest, we lose the rainfall in the Ethiopian highlands – and the Nile would dry up. These forests have an impact on livelihoods and lives of people far beyond the Congo basin.’

The CEO of fashion house Gucci said we can marry luxury and conservation and announced 100% carbon-neutrality across its operations and supply chain. The fashion giant says it will account for all the greenhouse gas emissions it generates through carbon offsets by contributing to four UN-backed Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) projects.

‘The challenge is enormous, but so are our capabilities when we act together…We’ve all picked a fight with nature and now we have to make peace with it.

Amina Mohammed UN Deputy Secretary-General