Day 1 at COP26 – #NaturePositive highlights

This news piece is an excerpt from the COP26 Daily Newsletter that Nature4Climate is publishing. Sign up here to get the full newsletter direct to your inbox.

And we’re off! Hoping that that you didn’t get stuck, like us, in the #copqueue yesterday. If you have morning engagements in the Blue Zone, early arrival is definitely advised.

But enough of that, let’s dive right in. If you haven’t already, have a read of our very own James Lloyd’s scene setting piece for Race to Zero.

Nature-based solutions were on show in a number of side events and pavilions, but perhaps the most eyes were on the high-level segment for leaders. Notably, Antonio Guterres told leaders “Enough of treating nature like a toilet”. You can read about it in the Independent.

Some buzz was also caused by Brazil, which committed to end illegal deforestation by 2028, bringing this target forward by 2 years from a previous commitment from President Bolsonaro. The country also committed to a significant 50% GHG reduction by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050. Reactions have been mixed, with the AP, Guardian and CNN all raising questions about the pledge.

Here’s what others said about forests and nature:

  • Glasgow Leader’s Declaration on Forest and Land Use: halt deforestation by 2030– mentioned by Germany, South Korea, Ukraine
  • Boris Johnson, WLS Opening: “Plant hundreds of millions of trees, a trillion”; “halt and reverse deforestation by 2030”
  • Germany: new partnership with Colombia, Norway, UK to further protection of forests
  • Mauritania: importance of Africa’s Great Green Wall, and need for more financing
  • Indonesia: Forestry sector will reach carbon net sink by 2030; 600,000 hectares of mangroves restored by 2024
  • France: emphasized natural carbon sinks and solutions; need to help tropical forests, especially in Africa through the Great Green Wall initiative
  • Thailand: will plant 100 million new trees by end of 2022
  • Argentina: new legal framework to eradicate illegal deforestation and protect native peoples
  • Bangladesh: planted 30 million saplings in 2021
  • Vietnam: restoration of nature must be highest priority– “All we do must be nature based and people centered”
  • Belize: blue carbon announcements– entered $360 million debt-for-marine conservation action– largest blue bond transaction ever; creating permanent $100 million marine conservation trust fund; increase marine protected biodiversity zones by 30% by 2026; place all remaining lands in Belize Barrier Reef system under protection
  • Niger: called for special fund for countries suffering from desertification, with funds to be used for reforestation efforts
  • Central African Republic: part of Central African Forestry Commission– designed to manage Congo basin and protect forests
  • Democratic Republic of Congo: #1 net carbon sink in the world; peat bogs of central basin alone store 31 billion tons of carbon; incalculable ecosystem services
  • Liberia: desire to establish African Carbon Credit trading mechanism.

View the schedule of the Nature+ Zone here.

This news piece is an excerpt from the COP26 Daily Newsletter that Nature4Climate is publishing. Sign up here to get the full newsletter direct to your inbox.

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