COP28

Rainforest Alliance urges COP28 to increase investment in nature-based solutions

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Rainforest Alliance's cocoa certification programme is part its strategy to drive sustainability at scale. Pic Rainforest Alliance
Rainforest Alliance's cocoa certification programme is part its strategy to drive sustainability at scale. Pic Rainforest Alliance

Related tags COP28 Sustainability Rainforest alliance

To mark the opening of COP28, the UN Climate Conference (30 November to Tues 12 December 2023), held this year in Dubai, the Rainforest Alliance, calls for substantial funding increase from governments, financial institutions, and private sector in support of locally led and nature-based solutions, which currently receive less than half of the required investment by 2025 and a third of the needed investment by 2030.

The international non-profit organisation said it is calling for heightened attention and increased investments in critical environmental initiatives, placing nature and people at the forefront of climate action.

While receiving less than half of the required investment by 2025 and just a third of the needed investment by 2030, the Rainforest Alliance calls for more funding for nature-based solutions, including regenerative agriculture, agroforestry, and community forest management, to harness the inherent benefits of nature's ecosystems and biodiversity.

These approaches not only mitigate emissions but also play a crucial role in capturing carbon and bolstering climate resilience. If adopted on a large scale, these solutions could deliver 37% of the climate change mitigation required by 2030 to prevent a dangerous increase in temperatures and achieve the targets of the Paris Agreement, it claimed.

 It claims the Rainforest Alliance underscores the importance of these initiatives by being locally led.

"Enabling communities to shape their own climate destiny is not just a choice, but a necessity. By embracing locally led and nature-based solutions, we entrust those closest to the land and reality on the ground - farmers, foresters, Indigenous Peoples, and local partners - to take the helm​," said Leila Yassine, Global Advocacy Manager at the Rainforest Alliance. She also said this approach also addresses the disproportionate challenges frontline communities face due to climate change, fostering a more just and equitable climate transition.

With over 35 years of experience cultivating sustainability within crucial farm and forest landscapes, the Rainforest Alliance has seen communities thrive, biodiversity flourish, and ecosystems regenerate - all guided by nature-based solutions.

Biodiversity-rich forests

It cited Cameroon's Western Highlands as a prime example where sacred and biodiversity-rich forests are under severe threat. Funded by the Global Environment Facility, the Rainforest Alliance is tackling deforestation by working alongside local land users, particularly frontline forest communities, with a special focus on promoting gender equality and supporting women as sustainability leaders.

Through legal measures, the project safeguards 7,600 hectares of land, with local communities leading sustainable landscape management plans for an additional 53,000 hectares. They embrace practices like mulching, tree planting, and integrated pest management for more sustainable and climate-resilient farming. The initiative acts as a catalyst for building thriving rural economies, demonstrating that conservation and economic incentives can go hand in hand.

The Rainforest Alliance underscores the urgent need for a robust policy framework to support effective nature-based solutions, Yassine said. "There’s an urgent need for increased financial backing for nature-based solutions, which currently receive less than half of the $384 billion/year investment in nature-based solutions needed by 2025 and only a third of the investment needed by 2030 ($484 billion/year).

“We call upon governments, financial institutions, and the private sector to join our alliance, fostering locally led and nature-based solutions across crucial rural landscapes and supply chains, forging a united front against global climate change​."

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