Day 5 at COP26 – #NaturePositive highlights

This news piece is an excerpt from the COP26 Daily Newsletter that Nature4Climate is publishing.

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It’s Nature Day! To be fair, everyday at the Nature Zone has felt like Nature Day, but we are certainly looking forward to a wide range of events across all the zones today, kicked off by the Presidency’s headline event “FACING THE FACTS.” The event starts at 9am in the Cairn Gorm plenary hall and we can tell you that ministers, business leaders, activists and innovators will highlight how they are rising to the challenge of keeping 1.5°C alive by protecting and restoring forests and carbon rich ecosystems. We can also let on that a certain pop star might also be lighting up the stage…

Later today, watch out for a focus on nature and land use in NDCs, as well as a significant business announcement from UK companies, new research on Indigenous Peoples’ leading role in protecting forests, new funding for supporting the transition to sustainable agriculture, and more. Heads up: Monday’s news brief is going to be packed. On the outside, a “Day of Action” is being mobilised, where up to 100,000 are expected to march in Glasgow, along with others across the UK and globally.

Finally, we’re working on an assessment of nature and land use in NDCs, the multi-stakeholder process and integration of IPLCs in the COP process, and some more detailed segments on the negotiations. So stay tuned!

Day 5 round up

Ocean Announcements

Galápagos Marine Reserve
On Tuesday, the leaders of Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Panama launched a new marine protected area to be called the Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Corridor (CMAR). The current Galápagos Marine Reserve covers 133,000 square kilometers (51,400 square miles) around its namesake islands, and the extension will protect an additional 60,000 km2 (23,200 mi2). The majority of the addition will be established across the Cocos Ridge, an underwater mountain range on the northeastern side of the Galápagos Islands that forms an important migration highway known as the Cocos-Galápagos Swimway. In one part of the new reserve, all fishing activity will be banned, while another part will only prohibit longline fishing. Covered in National Geographic, The Guardian, Mongabay and other outlets.

Ocean for Climate
The High Level Climate Champions and the ocean community signed the Ocean for Climate Declaration: a call to governments and non-state actors to scale up ocean-based climate solutions and action.

30×30
As part of the UK’s focus on nature, the Presidency is calling for greater marine protection to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss as two sides of the same coin. On Ocean Action Day, the UK welcomed the most recent countries pledging their support for this target: Bahrain, India, Saudi Arabia, Jamaica, St Lucia, Sri Lanka, Georgia, Qatar, Samoa, Tonga and The Gambia [Full list TBC]. In total, over 100 countries now support a 30by30 target for the ocean.

New Ocean-Climate Science 
A scientific paper published in the peer review Journal, Aquatic Conservation says that measures to address climate change and reach the Paris Agreement will not succeed unless the ocean is taken into account. The authors of the paper set out examples of how feedback loops between the ocean and climate are exacerbating climate change, pointing out that “… the rate of climate change is still accelerating, largely linked to changes in the ocean, causing a continuing decline in nature, and disruption at the planetary scale to the environment, people, and all our futures.”

Other announcements are listed in the UK Government’s Ocean Day press release.

New reports

Food and land in NDCs 
The Food and Land Use Coalition released a report that assesses how action-oriented the updated or enhanced NDCs from G20 countries are when it comes to the transformation of the food and land sector; what specific policy measures they propose; and where policy gaps and opportunities are. Reviewed NDCs include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Ethiopia, the European Union, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, the Russian Federation, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

IUCN Reports
Two new reports from IUCN on NBS were published yesterday. The first, a report by UNEP and IUCN, finds that Nature-based Solutions (NbS) can deliver emission reductions and removals of at least 5 gigatons of CO2 per year by 2030, and at least 10 gigatons by 2050 on a conservative basis. The second, new analysis from CDP and the IUCN suggests that companies are failing to adequately recognize and take action on risks posed from nature in their environmental plans and strategies, with an overwhelming focus on climate.

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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