In Lead Up To Biodiversity Summit, Big Commitments to Nature

Graphic: Learning for Nature, UNDP

This morning a major global effort to finance nature gets a huge “deposit” as Ministers from Germany, the United Kingdom, Costa Rica, Canada, and Norway, as well as business leaders, UN leaders, and major philanthropists, promise to spend billions to safeguard biodiversity.  The United Nation’s Nature Finance Forum today kicks off a major global effort to finance nature, with a day of speakers from all sectors, and more commitments expected all day — you can watch here.

These commitments are all part of a lead up to Wednesday’s UN’s Biodiversity Summit, which many heads of state will attend with the intent of pledging to increase ambitious targets to halt the unprecedented extinction crisis.

Why This Matters:  Last week was Climate Week and this week it is nature and biodiversity’s turn at center stage.  What makes today historic is that for the first time, high-level leaders from governments, philanthropies, and businesses have come together to pledge to increase funding for implementing the Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework, conserving 30% of the planet by 2030, which will likely be agreed next year at the Convention on Biological Diversity COP15 in China.  With backing like this from major philanthropists, governments, and corporations, they are off to a good start.

Big Commitments

Participants at today’s events stressed those goals cannot be achieved without dramatically increased funding to protect and restore our planet, and transform our land and marine use systems. And they got a good down payment.

  • Gerd Müller, German Federal Minister, announced the that the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Devel­opment (BMZ) is setting up the new Legacy Landscape Fund,  a joint initiative with other public and private funders, The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and NGOs to provide long-term financing to protected areas and communities in low- and middle-income countries. The Rob and Melani Walton Foundation announced they are partnering with the German government in this endeavor.
  • Minister Müller also announced that Germany intends to increase its €500 million ($584,000 USD) annual investment in protecting biodiversity in low- and middle-income countries.

  • The UK’s Environment Minister Zac Goldsmith announced an increased spend on nature as part of the UK’s doubling of international climate finance to £11.6 billion ($14.8 billion USD).

  • Sveinung Rotevatn, Minister of Climate and Environment, Norway pledged the launch of a coalition to end tropical deforestation and called on other nations to join in the coalition.

  • Hansjorg Wyss highlighted the Wyss Foundation’s 10-year, $1 billion USD pledge to support conservation worldwide.

  • Mark Engel, Chief Supply Chain Officer of Unilever, noted their €1 billion ($1.2 billion USD) commitment in a climate and nature fund.

Walked the Walk — Leaders in Their Own Words

Zac Goldsmith, Minister of State for Pacific and the Environment, UK:

“Nature based solutions could provide around a third of the cost effective solutions we need by 2030 and yet they attract just three percent of global climate investment….Putting our money where our mouth is, we have doubled our international climate finance to $11.6 billion. As of part of this increase, we will be increasing our spend on nature and asking other countries to do similar.”

Aileen Lee, Chief Program Officer for Environmental Conservation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

“Multi-party public-private collaboratives that mobilize financing for nature can unlock greater levels of ambition for conservation and deliver more durable results for critical ecosystems and the people who depend upon them.”

Julie Packard, Vice Chairman, David & Lucile Packard Foundation

“The greatest successes result when businesses, governments, and philanthropy come together to work with local communities. Together we can improve the health of the ocean, and the people who depend on it.”

Mark Engel, Chief Supply Chain Officer, Unilever

“We’re going to invest 1 billion euros in a new climate and nature fund. And over the next 10 years we will put this money into high impact projects and initiatives such as landscape restoration and wildlife protection so we can help protect and restore the health of the planet.”

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