COP28 Gets Landmark Commitments on Forests, Mangroves, Landscape Restoration

COP28’s Nature, Land Use, and Ocean Day saw leaders endorse commitments and pledges of over $186 million to drive climate action and continue to build momentum to protect and restore nature.

Several landmark commitments on forests, mangroves, landscape restoration, nature finance, and the ocean, were announced reaffirming that near-term action on nature is essential to deliver the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Over US$186 million of new financing for nature and climate towards forests, mangroves, and the ocean was also announced during the Nature, Land Use, and Ocean Day. This funding builds on the US$2.5 billion mobilized to protect and restore nature during COP28’s World Climate Action Summit (WCAS) on 2 December.

“The COP28 Presidency; the UAE, has demonstrated real action for Nature, one that is backed by significant financial commitments. The journey to 1.5 as we all know, is not possible without nature, and this level of action must be expedited to achieve real progress by COP30,” said H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana.

Reversing nature loss can provide upwards of 30% of the mitigation action needed to keep 1.5°C within reach by 2030. Nature also has a crucial role to play in reducing climate-related hazards, such as floods and fires. Nature preservation can also contribute a potential US$10 trillion worth of new business opportunities and provide almost 400 million new jobs.

The action at Nature, Land Use, and Ocean Day builds upon the commitments by leaders at COP26 to halt and reverse deforestation by 2030 and the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) that was adopted last year at the 15th Conference of the Parties under the Convention on Biological Diversity in Montreal, with its target to halt and reverse nature loss by 2030.

These goals also depend on investment in and leadership from indigenous communities, who steward some 80 percent of global biodiversity.

Among the most significant announcements from the session included:

  • 30 countries have become members of the Mangrove Alliance for Climate (MAC), since COP27, taking the total membership to 37 countries, covering more than 60 percent of the world’s mangroves. This is an initiative led by the UAE and Indonesia, driving significant global momentum behind these efforts.
  • 21 countries formally endorsed the Mangrove Breakthrough, a collaborative effort between the Global Mangrove Alliance (GMA) and the UN Climate Change High-level Champions that aims to restore and protect 15 million hectares of mangroves globally by 2030 through US$4 billion of finance.
  • The High-Level Ocean Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, now a group of 18 countries, together representing 50 percent of the world’s coastlines and over 45 percent of the world’s Exclusive Economic Zones, announced the membership of the Organization of American States, working in collaboration to achieve a 100 percent sustainable ocean economy.
  • The Forest Carbon Results and Credits roadmap was launched by 15 governments and outlined a plan to scale investment in forest carbon results and credits, emphasizing the significant potential of Forest Carbon markets to scale payments for climate and environmental
  • A Joint Statement from 17 countries also called for the use of sustainable wood in construction.