One Month Post Restoration Day at UN Biodiversity Conference (CBD COP 15) (2023)

The opening day of the Rio Conventions Pavilion (RCP) addressed the theme of theUN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Sessions examined relevant global frameworks, processes, and stakeholders that are necessary to address this multi-faceted area, which speakers underlined will not only solve climate change and biodiversity loss challenges but contribute to sustained economic growth as well.

In theopening sessionof the day, theUN’s First Ten World Restoration Flagshipswere announced,spanning23 countries with the objective of producing diverse examples of ecosystem restoration.

Lucy Mulenkei, Indigenous Information Network and Co-Chair, UN Decade Advisory Board, called for the participation of Indigenous Peoples in ecosystem restorationsolutions.

Christiane Paulus,Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection,Germany, stressed the different ways Germany is committed to restoration including investing 40 million euros in the UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund, which will direct significant funding to the newly announced flagship programme.

Maria Helena Semedo, Deputy Director-General, Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN (FAO) explained how every dollar invested in restoration efforts will generate USD 30 in benefits and how FAO is leading a monitoring task force composed of 200 experts to measure progress.

One Month Post Restoration Day at UN Biodiversity Conference (CBD COP 15) (1)

Doreen Robinson, Head of Biodiversity and Land, UN Environment Programme (UNEP), acknowledged that although no target has been agreed on with respect to restoration, this Conference of the Parties must decide on a target that merges different restorationprinciples to advance progress on restoration.

(Video) FAQ COP15/ CBD

Thescene-setting sessiondiscussed major global restoration initiatives and explored how to create coherence and synergies. Panellists emphasized the multiple co-benefits of restoration activities for sustainable livelihoods, resilience, and adaptation, and called for a strong restoration target in the post-2022 global biodiversity framework (GBF).

Moderator Tim Christophersen, Salesforce, highlighted the power of volunteering and ownership, stating that #generationrestoration was a “fast growing social movement that is now unstoppable”.

Sasha Alexander, UNConvention to Combat Desertification(UNCCD), presented key findings theGlobal Land Outlook 2, highlighting land as the operative link between climate and biodiversity, and restoration as a “proactive tool to boost resilience and prepare us for the future”.

One Month Post Restoration Day at UN Biodiversity Conference (CBD COP 15) (2)

Jamal Annagylyjova, CBD, underscored that the ever-growing demand on land requires integrated land management. She called for integrated and biodiversity-inclusive spatial planning as a way to enable synergies and avoid that priorities in one convention hurt those of others.

During the ensuing panel discussion, Adriana Vidal, IUCN, emphasized that the flagship projects represent but a snippet of the thousands of inspiring projects implemented worldwide.

Salma AlSayyad, G20 Global Land Initiative, elaborated on the G20’s ambition to reduce land degradation by 50% by 2040. She shared an example of community-based restoration in Tigray that shows how even with dwindling natural capital, social capital can create long-term sustainability.

Natalia Alekseeva, UNEP, highlighted the benefits that restoration brings to communities and societies, stressing that ecosystem restoration is not a luxury, but a necessity.

(Video) COP15: Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework adopted

Lifeng Li, FAO, discussed river, coastal, and seascape restoration and the co-benefits they deliver, and pointed to the degradation of arable land as the “elephant in the room”.

In the session onbest practices, representatives from the Governments of Niger, Mexico, and China shared best practices for restoration as well as challenges. They proposed solutions to address these gaps such as: the promotion of networks; dissemination of information; connecting stakeholders globally; and knowledge exchange. Panellists representing academia, Wetlands International, and WWF also emphasized how a multi-disciplinary approach engaging Indigenous Peoples to inform and co-create solutions is paramount for success. Government representatives also underlined that scaling-up public and private finance is needed to support planned actions.

In the session#GenerationRestoration: Intergenerational Dialogue: Moving from Policy to Localized Action, panellists representing youth activists, social movements, and government and philanthropic projects showcased different ways to engage youth in the Restoration agenda.Examples included storytelling as a tool to bridge the generational and urban-rural gap, a letter-writing campaign to support the 30by30 target, direct input into policy processes, volunteering, education and training, and empowering students to support nature-positive universities.

Panellists called for acknowledging youth not only for their potential but for the contribution they are already making including in championing local restoration. One speaker emphasized the role of Indigenous girls and women as knowledge holders and restoration actors and asked for making tools and finance available over the long-term to empower communities. Panellists also highlighted the need for older generations to make space for youth representation in management, institutions, and policy processes, stressing how their unique capacity for innovation and creativity is needed to drive a global movement for biodiversity.

One Month Post Restoration Day at UN Biodiversity Conference (CBD COP 15) (3)

The session onmonitoringunderscored the importance of transparency and interoperability for indicators and monitoring tools and frameworks developed in the context of ecosystem restoration efforts. It highlighted recent initiatives such as FAO’s Framework on Ecosystem Restoration Monitoring (FERM) geospatial platform and Restor’s global hub for nature restoration.

Representatives of Kazakhstan presented theAltyn Dala Conservation Initiative Kazakhstan, one of the World Restoration Flagships. They described how the joint efforts of the Kazakh government and various partner organizations led to the recovery of the population of the Saiga Antilope, which in turn fuelled ecosystem restoration through normalizing grazing patterns, reducing steppe-fires.

A panel discussion focused on reporting needs for the UN Decade and the proposed GBF target 2 on restoration. Panelists highlighted the importance of making target 2 broad and inclusive. They pointed out that geospatial platforms have an important role in establishing smart connections between projects and people. They highlighted work done under the UNCCD in support of SDG indicator 15.3.1 for Land Degradation Neutrality as a good starting point for target 2. They also pointed to existing geospatial tools, developed by NGOs and in cooperation with the private sector, that support restorationefforts, and inquired how best to collaborate with FERM and other platforms, to drive innovation and work on sharing information and use resources collectively, instead of a proliferation in siloes.

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In the session onscience and traditional knowledge, panellists emphasized that the role of Indigenous participation and traditional knowledge for ecosystem restoration should be a two-way road where traditional knowledge contributes to solutions and solutions contribute to improving conditions for Indigenous Peoples.

Examples of how indigenous participation led to more inclusive and successful outcomes for restoration were provided by government representatives from Malawi, Cambodia and Abu Dhabi, as well as the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria and the Trinational Alliance for Atlantic Forest Restoration. They also gave examples how innovative solutions such as specialized drones and traditional knowledge have resulted in fisheries recovery, forest restoration, and coastal and marine habitats restoration.

Yolanda Lopez-Maldonado, Commission for Environmental Cooperation, provided a direct voice of Indigenous Peoples, andunderscored the need to increase ambition for ecosystem restoration and our relationship with nature.

One Month Post Restoration Day at UN Biodiversity Conference (CBD COP 15) (4)

Thefinal session of the daystarted by introducing two Restoration Flagship Projects.

Anita Montoute, Permanent Secretary, Government of Saint Lucia presented the Small Islands Flagship, stressing that it followed the ten principles of ecosystem restoration and will enable Saint Lucia, Vanuatu, and Comoros to “build back better and bluer”, enabling these large Ocean States to overcome obstacles that are presently inhibiting the full realization of a blue economy.

Jair Urriola Quiroz, Executive Secretary, the Central American Commission for Environment and Development, introduced the Flagship in the Central American Dry Corridor that will improve territorial governance of the productive landscape, foster improved agricultural practices, eliminate perverse incentives and promote access to sustainable financing sources and the association of different restoration initiatives under its umbrella.

Christian Peter, World Bank, explained how the role of financial institutions and mechanisms needs to be better understood by key actors in ecosystem restoration. He elaborated on the steps necessary to form partnerships and platforms that connect global investors to local actors, including a roadmap looking at the four pillars of: government and public sector; knowledge and data tools (taxonomy, CBA-tools); financial sector regulation and initiatives, financial markets and investments.

(Video) UN biodiversity summit COP15 reaches ‘historic’ deal to protect nature – BBC News

In ensuing panel discussions, representatives from commercial banks, philanthropy and multilateral development banks discussed the role of their respective institutions in making finance available for restoration. Panellists elaborated on sovereign sustainability linked bonds, strategies for creating revenue streams through natural assets and carbon offsets from natural capital, examples where philanthropy can be catalytic to unlock larger flows of capital, and the role of strong governance and reporting frameworks to enable public finance institutions to engage.

Panellists agreed on the need to find a common language and culture between project developers and the finance world as a key enabling factor to unlock investment. They highlighted the flagship projects as potentially catalytic investment opportunities. Responding to a question from the audience, panellists highlighted the importance of on-going efforts to better represent the value of nature in financial accounting and posited the need to not only finance the green, but greening finance. A policy and governance gap creating uncertainty, and an administrative capacity gap on the part of implementing organisations were identified as key issues that need to be resolved in order to make money flow into restoration.

To wrap up the first day of the Pavilion, a reception was held for participants to further exchange ideas and key takeaways from the day.

TheEarth Negotiations Bulletinis covering theRio Conventions Pavilion at COP 15 eventsfrom 13-18 December.

Organizer: FAO and UNEP

Contact:David Ainsworth |[emailprotected]

For more information:UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration;Rio Conventions Pavilion

This article is originally by IISD.
TheUN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030, led by the United Nations Environment Programme, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and its partners, covers terrestrial as well as coastal and marine ecosystems. As a global call to action, it will draw together political support, scientific research and financial muscle to massively scale up restoration.Find out how you can contribute to the UN Decade.Follow#GenerationRestoration.

(Video) What needs to happen to make the COP15 Global Biodiversity Framework a success?


What was the outcome of CBD COP15? ›

The United Nations Biodiversity Conference (COP15) ended in Montreal, Canada, on 19 December 2022 with a landmark agreement to guide global action on nature through to 2030.

What was agreed at COP15? ›

What was the outcome of COP15? COP15 saw the adoption of a new set of international goals for biodiversity called the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF). A total of 188 governments (including the UK) agreed to the GBF and committed to address the ongoing loss of terrestrial and marine biodiversity.

How long does COP15 last? ›

COP15 is shorthand for the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), a two-week summit that took place in Montreal, Canada, from December 7-19, 2022.

What are the 4 goals of COP15? ›

in order to progressively reduce negative impacts on biodiversity, increase positive impacts, reduce biodiversity-related risks to business and financial institutions, and promote actions to ensure sustainable patterns of production.

Why is COP15 important? ›

Why does COP15 matter for all life on Earth? COP15 will focus on setting agreed global targets to halt and reverse the loss of 'biodiversity' – that is, the variety within species of animals, plants, fungi, and even microorganisms like bacteria, making up our natural world. This variety is critical for our survival.

Who will go to COP15? ›

The remainder of COP15 will involve negotiating decisions that all parties can agree to by the conference's end. Civil society groups, indigenous peoples, scientists, representatives from business and finance will all participate as observers and through side events. Hundreds of journalists will cover the talks.

Where did COP15 adopts biodiversity plan to protect 30% of land and water by 2030? ›

Delegates agreed to safeguard plant and animal life in a historic deal at the UN biodiversity summit in Montreal. It is what's known as the '30 by 30' plan. Indigenous and traditional lands will count as part of this 30%.

What is COP15 and COP27? ›

At the end of 2022, the United Nations organised two COPs: COP15 in Montreal, Canada and COP27 in Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt. What does COP mean and why are there two with different numbers, 15 and 27? COP is an acronym for 'Conference of the Parties'.

Where is COP15 biodiversity 2022? ›

The United Nations Biodiversity Conference (COP15) ended in Montreal, Canada on 19 December 2022 with a landmark agreement to guide global action on…

Is COP15 open to the public? ›

COP15 delegates and the general public are invited to attend screenings and panel discussions on issues raised by the films. All activities are free of charge.

How many people attended COP15? ›

The 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity brings together nearly 20,000 delegates from more than 190 countries and member states to engage in important negotiations and dialogue around biodiversity conservation.

How often does COP15 happen? ›

Since then these meetings have been held somewhat less frequently and, following a change in the rules of procedure in 2000, will now be held every two years. The Fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 15) is held in Kunming, China and Montreal, Canada, in two phases.

What is the difference between COP15 and COP26? ›

While they are both Conferences of the Parties, and numbered similarly, COP15 and COP26 are not the same. While COP15 relates to biodiversity, COP26 was concerned with climate change.

What is COP15 and why does it matter for all life on Earth? ›

COP15 focuses on the living world through the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), a treaty adopted for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and related issues. COP15 aims to achieve an historic agreement to halt and reverse nature loss by 2030, on par with the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

What financial package did the fifteenth Conference of the Parties COP15 agree? ›

The COP-15 must agree to provide compensatory grant funding, which should be adequate, sustainable and easily accessible, to meet full cost of adaptation, particularly of the MVCs, low-lying coastal states, Small Island states and the LDCs, Bangladesh Prime Minister said.

Where the COP15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity will be held? ›

The conference was held in Montréal, Quebec, the seat of the UN CBD Secretariat, from December 7 – 19, 2022. COP15 focused on protecting nature and halting biodiversity loss around the world.

What is COP15 and COP26? ›

The UN Climate Conference COP26 in Glasgow and the Biodiversity Conference COP15, to take place from 25 April to 8 May 2022 in China, are crucial meetings for life on Earth, with existential implications for humankind.

Why is COP26 important to biodiversity? ›

Biodiversity on the COP26 agenda

They have pledged to stop the damaging process by 2030 and begin restoring and regrowing the world's forests. Forests remove carbon from the atmosphere in a highly efficient and cost-effective manner, absorbing around 30 per cent of global emissions.


1. What is CoP 15?
(Simon Dures)
2. COP15 UN biodiversity summit opens in Canada – BBC News
(BBC News)
3. COP15 Biodiversity Beat_December 4, 2022
(Convention on Biological Diversity)
4. COP 15 - UNCBD | Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework | UPSC
5. 'Orgy of destruction': UN head opens Cop15 with stark warning of declining biodiversity
(Guardian News)
6. Important Plant Areas- a tool for Implementing the Global Biodiversity Framework (CoP15 side event)
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