COP28 saw a large amount of support for new plans to protect the planet,
its ecosystems, and wildlife.

This year’s COP28 events has seen an increased amount of support for plans to protect nature, including from indigenous communities and conservation groups.

One of the biggest plans that was put into place before COP28 and has now gained further support due to its inclusion within the UAE consensus, the 2030 Global Deforestation Goal has been agreed by over 140 countries worldwide. The main aim of this goal is to reverse the deforestation that has been rapidly occurring worldwide. 

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Tanya Steele, the Chief Executive at the WWF, had previously sent out a warning to world leaders stating:

“Every hectare of forest we lose takes us closer to runaway climate change.”

The Natural Resources Defense Council’s Natural Climate Solutions Policy Manager, Jessica Skene stated that in light of the new plans to protect nature:

“The text’s emphasis on halting and reversing forest degradation,
alongside deforestation, by 2030 leaves no ambiguity about the urgency of
global, multisectoral action to protect high-integrity forests in order to meet the
goals of the Paris agreement… The international community is stripping away the
veil over industrial logging… creating a pathway for action on forest protection
defined by equity and accountability.”

COP28 also highlighted the importance of the 2022 Biodiversity Agreement. This agreement contains 23 areas that the countries that have pledged to the agreement are committed to. These commitments include restoring 30% of the ecosystems that have become degraded, protecting 30% of nature by 2030, and making sure damaging subsidies that are worth £410 billion are reformed.

The consensus set out by the UAE states that it:

“…emphasises the importance of conserving, protecting and restoring
nature and ecosystems towards achieving the Paris agreement
temperature goal.”

This year’s COP28, is one of the first major events that has recognised that the knowledge from Indigenous Communities is a valuable tool to protect the planet and the nature it contains. Through their role in protecting the world’s forests and finding solutions to protect nature from climate change.

Brazil’s Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ first ever appointed Minister for Indigenous Peoples, Sonia Guajajara, regarding the importance of Indigenous Communities when combatting the negative effects of climate change and COP28, stated that:

“It was the first time that we had Indigenous people participating directly
in a dialogue with Brazilian negotiators. We are only 5% of the world’s population,
but 82% of the world’s protected biodiversity is within Indigenous territories.”

In regards to Indigenous Communities the UAE consensus states the world should consider:

 

“…the best available science as well as Indigenous peoples’ knowledge
and local knowledge systems.”

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All of the above plans are part of the consensus set out by the UAE for COP28. A big part of this consensus is that the world needs to increase the amount of finance it is setting aside to protect nature, including its ecosystems, biodiversity, and wildlife. Many conservation organisations are behind this new consensus and journalist Claudio Angelo from the Brazilian Climate Observatory has shown his support for plans such as the 2030 Global Deforestation Goal being mentioned and integrated into the UN’s framework from COP28.

In regards to financing these projects he stated:

“This has potential because there are big bucks for biodiversity that may be
used now for climate protection and vice versa.”

There is still concern however as the language used within the text that was signed by over 200 nations at COP28 to transition away from fossil fuels is still indistinct in regards to ‘phasing down’ and ‘phasing out’.

For further information and up to date news on COP28 and its themes, please see our COP28 Focus homepage where you can access all of our guides, news, and reports from the event.