Engaging with the Nature-Based Solutions coalition for the Climate Action Summit

In Climate change

A Summit about action and opportunity

  • The UN Climate Action Summit, being convened by UN Secretary-General on 23 September 2019 provides an opportunity for redefining people’s relationship with nature. ‘Nature-Based Solutions’ can harness nature’s capacity to reduce emissions, enhance resilience, and can offer a crucial response to climate change and sustainable development at the scale and pace that is needed: To make this transformation possible, the necessary actions must be clearly identified, along with robust implementation systems and finance on an unprecedented scale. The Summit also provides an opportunity of cooperation for all of us - from government, finance, business, civil society and international organizations - to contribute to collective efforts that will tip the balance. These include reversing climate change, implementing SDGs, delivering multiple economic, social and environmental outcomes, and benefiting lives and livelihoods everywhere.

Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) in the Summit

  • The United Nations Secretary-General has initiated nine coalitions comprised of national governments who are joined by other stakeholders. Their remit is to undertake preparatory work for the Summit and to ensure ‘transformative outcomes, of which Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) is one. The coalitions are each preparing propositions that will be offered to world leaders at the Summit and be followed up through the UNFCCC COPs and other intergovernmental processes. It is anticipated that propositions, when implemented, will have significant and transformative impact, reflect public interest, and contribute to balanced and equitable development, taking account of economic and social considerations. Propositions will be assembled at the Climate Action Summit preparatory meeting will take place on 30 June and 1 July in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Assembling the proposition for the Nature-Based Solutions workstream

  • The proposition for NBS will be established in conjunction with the coalitions involved in the eight other summit workstreams. This reflects the growing recognition that NBS are critical to the work undertaken in these different workstreams. The NBS coalition is keen to have a strong proposition for NBS to establish beyond doubt the critical importance NBS and to stimulate actions in NBS for climate action. At the 30 June meeting a strong proposition is more likely to be chosen for advancement to the September Summit.The NBS coalition co-leads will be fully engaged in establishing the scope and form of the NBS proposition in the run up to this meeting and on to the Summit. After the 30 June meeting, there will be discussions about the propositions among governments whose leaders are due to participate in the Summit.

Possible thematic areas for the Nature-Based Solutions proposition

  • The co-leads of the NBS coalition are China and New Zealand. They envisage that the proposition on the NBS theme could include (but not be limited to) scaling up the preservation and restoration of forests, land and marine ecosystems; conservation and restoration of wetlands; comprehensive treatment of soil erosion; prevention of desertification, climate resilient infrastructure and connectivity; eco-corridors and protection of biodiversity; climate compatible agriculture and food systems; regenerating ecosystems of the ocean and natural reserve systems with national parks as the mainstay.

The timetable of work for the NBS coalition

  • During the 12 weeks between early April and end June 2019, the NBS coalition will work for the emergence of a proposition that is highly ambitious and aggregated: it will call for intensifying the implementation of NBS within climate action. The proposition will have significant potential impact for the mitigation of climate change and capacities for adaptation, as well as co-benefits linked to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (such as poverty reduction, food security and health). As stated above, the proposition will be assembled in conjunction with the coalitions involved in the eight other summit workstreams.

Possible outcomes for the NBS workstream

  • The main outcome will be the proposition on Nature Based Solutions, presented as a declaration to be jointly issued by the coalition countries. Other outcomes anticipated include:
    • Establishing a “Nature-Based Solutions” coalition and explore the establishment of a science experts’ institution of the coalition.
    • Identifying action initiatives in various outcome areas. Further integrate and distill existing or proposed initiatives by coalition partners and include good initiatives into the annex to the declaration.
    • Compiling good practices: high-quality case studies provided by coalition partners and share them with all parties through seminars, round tables and other activities.

Receiving contributions

  • We would be grateful to receive contributions from those who wish to participate in the development of this NBS proposition. These contributions should describe action initiatives and/or good practices which could be aggregated into the ambitious NBS proposition. They should include actions that have a high potential impact, building (where appropriate) on existing initiatives and good practices. All inputs for the NBS proposal should be shared by 6 May. They will each be examined in May and then be drawn on when shaping the NBS coalition’s proposition for the Climate Action Summit. It is envisaged that as the coalition advances its work its propositions will also be shaped through contributions from the other preparatory workstreams.

Criteria being used when the propositions/contributions are examined

  • The NBS proposition will be developed on the basis of the five criteria recommended by the UN Secretary-General’s Office and contributions will be reviewed using these criteria:
    • Transformational impact: Transformational in development philosophy or ambition on climate action (mitigation/adaptation) either setting a new precedent in a sector, regionally or internationally or dramatically scaling-up an existing initiative;
    • Sustainable development co-benefits: Addressing economic and social issues: Initiatives will need to demonstrate that they are inclusive (ensuring that no-one is left behind), advancing sustainable development, cross-sectoral and multi-stakeholder;
    • Replicable and scalable: Ability to be scaled-up or replicated across sectors or regions;
    • Measurable and implementable: The proposed initiatives should be concrete enough to be immediately implemented with a measurable effect that allows the proponents to demonstrate their contributionand secure accountability. Initiatives will need to be supported by an implementation plan with concrete milestones and the corresponding financial requirements.
    • Innovative and visible: Development of a competitive, innovative solution as well as a clear communications strategy that stimulates public awareness.

The proposed structure of contributions

  • Those who are interested to provide inputs to the NBS coalition are invited to submit them in summary form (not more than 1000 words), in English, using the following headings (if a specific heading is not applicable this should please be indicated in the contribution):
    1. Title/Heading.
    2. Context and rationale.
    3. An overview of the contribution.
    4. How the contribution leverages living natural systems as a solution to avert climate change?
    5. How might the contribution support both climate, mitigation and adaptation as well as other important co-benefits and social, economic and environmental outcomes in coming years. They may include:
      • Reduction in carbon emission and carbon capture (GTonnes)
      • Increasing climate resilience
      • Social impact (job increase; poverty reduction; Just transition, etc.)
      • Net economic impact (total in US$; how was it achieved?)
      • Impact on realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (in particular SDGs 1,2,6,12,13,14,15,16)
      • Food security
      • Minimising species extinction and ecological losses and fostering an increase of biodiversity.
    6. Which countries and organisations are involved in the contribution?
    7. How have stakeholders (for example local communities, youth and indigenous peoples, where applicable) been consulted in developing the contribution?
    8. Where can the contribution be put into action?
    9. How the contribution will be delivered? How will different stakeholders be engaged in its implementation? What are the potential transformational impacts?
    10. Is this initiative contributing to other Climate Action Summit workstreams (industry transition; energy transition; climate finance and carbon pricing; infrastructure, cities and local action; resilience and adaptation; youth and citizen mobilization; social and political drivers; mitigation strategy)?
    11. How does this contribution build upon examples of experience to date? How does the contribution link with different ongoing initiatives?
    12. What are the mechanisms for funding (with specific emphasis on potential for partnerships)?
    13. What are the means of stewardship, metrics for monitoring?
    14. What is the communication strategy?
    15. What are the details of proponents (indicating the degree of commitment among the countries and organizations that are named).

A web-based platform for sharing NBS contributions

This NBS contributions’ web link has been set up to receive inputs and to enable all with an interest to see them. Contributions should be sent by email to the NBS Facilitation team at: [email protected]; any questions should be sent by email to the same address. Please indicate if you prefer contributions and email details not to be seen by others who access the platform. The inputs received from the NBS network will be summarised and shared with those who have contributed, as well as others with an interest.

The NBS facilitation team is pleased to issue this invitation to input on behalf of the co-leads and look forward to receiving the contributions. We would be grateful for this invitation to be shared across networks interested in nature-based solutions and climate action. The co-leads and facilitation team want to encourage inclusive engagement in the development of the proposition incorporating NBS in climate action. This engagement should draw upon the wide range and innovative brilliance of the work underway on NBS.

In Climate change