People and Nature – Solutions to Accelerating Progress Towards the 2030 Agenda and Averting Planetary Catastrophe

Co-organised by Costa-Rica, the Delegation of the European Union with YouNGO, UNEP, WWF and UNDP, delegations and civil organizations convened to discuss solutions that can accelerate progress towards achieving the SDGs by 2030. The meeting specifically called for collaborative climate action, where the balance between nature and humans can then be restored and sustained.

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Ms. Claire Blanchard, Head of Global Advocacy of WWF, set the scene by providing an overview of the dire environmental degradation that mankind is currently being challenged with. We stand to face mass species extinction and major loss of food and water. Restricted productivity as a result of ecological damage also poses major economic cost to society. In the Americas alone, we are talking about a staggering amount of $24 trillion lost per year. To gain momentum for climate action, the panel stressed the importance of a science-policy interface, where investment is redirected from fossil fuel subsidization and non-renewable energy development to the research for some safer and cleaner energy resources. WWF also urged leaders to prioritize nature-based solutions, such as organic agriculture, when formulating future policies. Stakeholders agreed on the urgency to reform the current way of food production, where meat consumption would then be reduced and the overall deforestation rate would be lowered. The meeting also emphasized the gravity of immediate global effort in properly managing our Ocean resources.

With the devotion to putting an end to the Earth’s biodiversity loss, Mr. Jamil Ahmad, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs of UNEP, welcomed community-based innovations, such as Ethiopia’s funding in domestic organic honey production. Costa Rica being at the forefront of climate action, recommended stakeholders to invest in indigenous groups, the youth and females, set up agricultural advisory services, establish farmer-to-farmer learning programs, and develop comprehensive global policy toolkits on public support to sustainable agricultural innovations.

Meeting: People and Nature – Solutions to Accelerating Progress Towards the 2030 Agenda and Averting Planetary Catastrophe!

Date/Location: Wednesday, July 17, 2019; 08:00-09:30; Banquet Hall, Scandinavia House, New York, NY

Speakers:

Ms. Claire Blanchard, Head of Global Advocacy, WWF;

Mr. Jamil Ahmad, Director, Intergovernmental Affairs, UNEP (New York);

H.E. Mr. Rodrigo Alberto Carazo Zeledón, Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the UN;

Ms. Anita Diederichsen, Global Lead/Coordinator of the Forest Landscape Restoration ACAI, WWF;

Ms. Astrid Schomaker, Director, DG Environment, European Commission;

Ms. Adriana Dinu, Deputy Director, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP;

H.E. Mr. Luis Alfonso de Alba, Special Envoy for 2019 Climate Action Summit

Written By: WIT Representative Winky Lee

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