NGOs urge UK and other wealthy nations for $60bn international nature funding pledge


A coalition of the world’s largest environmental NGOs is urging developed countries to pledge at least $60 billion in international funding for nature in developing countries each year ahead of the UN biodiversity summit.

If current trends in nature degradation continue, Earth will experience its sixth mass extinction, scientists have warned

Announced today (March 1), the call to action comes from organizations including WWF, the World Resources Institute (WRI), The Nature Conservancy and the Rainforest Trust.

NGOs highlighted the fact that, according to UN estimates, less than $10 billion is allocated globally to international biodiversity funding. The organization recommended last year that at least $8.1 billion be allocated to nature-based solutions alone – projects that involve restoring ecosystems in a way that also improves mitigation efforts and /or adaptation to climate change – by 2050.

Without increased funding, NGOs point out, the risks to biodiversity – and therefore to livelihoods, public health and the economy – will crystallize. The WWF forecast in 2020 that the global cumulative cost of damage to natural ecosystems will reach £8,000,000 by 2050. Shortly after this forecast was released, the World Economic Forum published an article describing how the economy is more dependent on nature than previously thought, with half of the world’s GDP ($44 billion) dependent on nature.

The major new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) this week has only further underscored the magnitude of this risk.

It is recognized that private investment will need to play a major role in closing the biodiversity funding gap. In addition, nations will have to increase spending from public coffers. However, NGOs point to the fact that around a third of global threats to biodiversity are generated by international trade, particularly trade in raw materials produced in developing countries for use in developed countries.

With this in mind, they urge developed countries to collectively set the $60 billion commitment. Nations that should contribute, they say, include EU member states, the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan and Canada.

“Resource consumption in the developed world is one of the main drivers of biodiversity loss, but its consequences are mostly borne by communities in developing countries who live in biodiversity hotspots,” the director summed up. General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Dr. Bruno Oberle. .

“Providing local and indigenous communities with the means to conserve nature is not only a moral obligation, but also a wise investment that will yield high returns for all of us.”

Climate pact and biodiversity negotiations

The NGO announcement comes weeks before nations are expected to meet in Kunming, China, to finalize a new global treaty aimed at halting and reversing nature loss.

The second part of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is due to start on April 25. The first part of the summit ended in October 2021 with solid progress towards a commitment to halt the loss of nature by 2030 and to have a net positive impact thereafter, so that humanity can “living in harmony with nature” in all geographical areas by 2050.

Scientists and environmental groups have been pushing for a stronger deal from the current draft. But, with progress now more than 18 months behind schedule due to Covid-19, and previous Aichi Biodiversity Targets not met, there is consensus that the priority must be quick and effective action. credible implementation.

James Roth, Conservation International’s senior vice president for global policy and government affairs, said: “Recent climate talks in Glasgow have brought new commitments and funding for climate action, with a strong focus on role of nature as a solution. As the world prepares to meet in Kunming, we need to re-raise our ambition for action and funding for biodiversity.

Providing international funding for nature, the NGOs said, should be part of a “wider holistic effort”. They also call on governments to do more to end private financial flows to nature-destroying activities and to eliminate subsidies that support harmful activities, replacing them with incentives for nature-friendly activities.

On this first point, Global Canopy recently revealed that two-thirds of the world’s largest financial firms have no policies to prevent deforestation caused by the companies in which they invest and lend.

On that last point, a recent report by The B Team and Business for Nature found that the world spends the equivalent of 2% of global GDP – about $1.8 billion – on subsidies that cause ecosystems to collapse and the extinction of species.

NGOs also recommend regulations requiring companies and financiers to measure, assess and disclose their dependencies and impacts on biodiversity. The Nature-Related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) Task Force is developing a framework to enable such disclosure at scale and plans to launch it in 2023. It will initially be voluntary. However, nations may well make it a legal requirement, as the G7 countries do for climate disclosures.

Sarah Georges


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