Nature offers a range of solutions that could effectively address climate change and reduce the impacts of extreme weather events. It provides crucial ecosystem services, and its inclusion in national plans and strategies could lead to widespread sustainable and cost-effective climate action and disaster risk reduction measures. As climate crisis intensifies and extreme weather events continue to increase in frequency and severity – for instance, the recent cyclones Harold in the South Pacific and Amphan in the Bay of Bengal have caused massive loss of lives and livelihoods – we need to ensure there is strong adaptation and resilience capacities particularly in vulnerable communities.
At the United Nations Climate Action Summit in September last year, nature-based solutions (NBS) were prominently featured as one of the key workstreams. The NBS Manifesto, a plan for action to unlock the potential of NBS for climate action, was launched at the Summit, with the support of more than 70 governments, private sector, civil society and international organizations. This signals a wide recognition that ecosystem conservation and restoration is a major contributor in the global climate crisis response. Yet, governments, private sector, civil society, indigenous peoples, youth and other stakeholders need to continue the dialogue and strengthen partnerships to truly achieve the ambitious goals set out at the Summit. The challenge is how do we mainstream NBS into climate and disaster risk reduction policies at the national level and practices at the local level?
The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) are jointly organizing an event that will feature discussions and examples of how nature-based solutions can help reduce climate disasters and how they can be mainstreamed into policies and practices from the national to the local level. The event builds on the momentum for NBS arising from the Climate Action Summit, and draws attention to the link between NBS and disaster risk reduction. Only by sharing best practices on mainstreaming NBS, innovations and lessons learned can we generate shifts in domestic and international climate policies and practices to value nature and realize the potential of NBS to reduce climate disasters. The outcome of the event will be concrete strategies that can be implemented to protect and sustainably use nature to reduce impacts of climate change, such as storms, floods, and droughts, and call for genuine action across different scales and sectors.
The event will be organized as part of Climate Week NYC 2020. It will bring together different stakeholders in a dialogue on NBS. Specifically, the event will:
1. Bring attention to the successes and challenges of mainstreaming and scaling up NBS for adaptation and disaster risk reduction to build climate resilience at the community level.
2. Highlight the importance of mainstreaming NBS within national climate policy-related instruments.
3. Showcase how nations are reducing impacts of climate disasters by implementing NBS.
4. Formulate concrete recommendations to incorporate NBS into policies and practices from the national to the community level.
Moderator: Mr. Mario Boccucci, Head of the UN-REDD Programme Secretariat, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
- Opening Remarks
- Ms. Patricia Fuller, Ambassador for Climate Change, Government of Canada
- Mr. Vel Gnanendran, Climate and Environment Director, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, United Kingdom
- Setting the Context
- Dr. Moushumi Chaudhury, Community Resilience Program Director, The Nature Conservancy
- Ms. Pascale Meige, Director for Disaster and Climate Crisis Response, International Federation of Red Crossand Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
- The Challenge: Mainstreaming NBS
- Ms. Anika Terton, Policy Advisor, International Institute for Sustainable Development, Resilience Program and NAP Global Network
Nature-Based Solutions in Action
- Dr. Asha Mohammed, Secretary General, Kenya Red Cross Society
- Mr Francisco Cali Tzay, Special Rapporteur, UN Office of High Commission for Human Rights
- Mr. Kevin Douglas, Disaster Management Specialist, Jamaica Red Cross, Resilient Islands by Design
- The Road Ahead & Closing
Mr. Mario Boccucci, Moderator