UN Heads call for assistance to address linked climate change, biodiversity and desertification threats

Rainwater harvesting pond in Dori, Burkina Faso

Rio conventions

  • Calling for establishment of facility to secure financing for large projects addressing global challenges and achieving Sustainable Development Goals
  • Facility will enhance implementation of all three Rio Conventions.

Bonn/Montreal, 14 November 2017 – The Executive Secretaries of the Biological Diversity, Climate Change, and Desertification Conventions have called for the establishment of a Facility to secure finance for large projects that will help to address common issues.

“We are calling for the establishment of a new Project Preparation Facility to bridge this gap and promote an integrated, coherent and multi-disciplinary approach to these related issues while supporting the respective mandates of the three Rio Conventions,” they said in a joint statement issued by the Executive Secretaries at the UN Climate Change Conference 2017 taking place in Bonn, Germany.

“There is strong demand for a Rio Conventions Project Preparation Facility to help finance large-scale, transformative projects that can deliver multiple benefits in addressing global challenges and in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Monique Barbut, Executive Secretary of the Desertification Convention.

Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the Framework Convention on Climate Change, said “the need for supporting improved proposal design and structuring the investment case for multi-dimensional projects is the core mandate of this Facility.”

“This Facility will help access project funding for a wide variety of sources, including blended finance and public private partnerships,” said Cristiana Paşca Palmer, Executive Secretary of the Biological Diversity Convention.  

Land productivity is declining at an alarming rate. More than a third of land is degraded, with most of it happening just in the last two decades.

Current management practices in the land use sector are responsible for approximately 25 per cent of the global greenhouse gas emissions. Biodiversity is disappearing at alarming rates well above the natural rates. With over 1.3 billion people reliant on degrading land and exposed to an unprecedented level of climate stress, the situation is expected to worsen.

The proposed Facility would have two key functions. First, to deliver on existing commitments by promoting large-scale transformative projects to fill existing gaps between projects and funding; second, to act as a catalyst for more coordinated action. The Facility would simultaneously contribute to the implementation of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets (CBD), the Land Degradation Neutrality targets (UNCCD), and the Nationally Determined Contributions and National Adaptation Plans (UNFCCC).

The details for the structure and operation for this facility are being explored in close consultation between the secretariats of the Rio Conventions and potential partners.

The international community and donors have pledged a number of funding commitments such as the enhanced climate financing to address some of the interconnected issues. The Conferences of the Parties to each of the Rio Conventions – namely the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – have underlined through numerous decisions the need for enhanced collaboration in order to harness synergies, enhance coordination and increase the effectiveness of operations. However, the existing technical assistance facilities are sector-specific and do not leverage the synergies between land, climate and biodiversity.

It is against this backdrop, that the Executive Secretaries of the Rio Conventions issued the joint statement to collaborate in the establishment of a Project Preparation Facility.

Notes to the Editors

For the full statement, please visit: www.cbd.int/cooperation/joint-statement-rio-convention-2017-en.pdf or http://bit.ly/2znaqD1

Example of Activities Supported by the Rio Conventions Project Preparation Facility:

Project facility diagram

For more information, please contact:

David Ainsworth, CBD

Wagaki Wischnewski, UNCCD

Nick Nuttall, UNFCCC

About the CBD

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is an international treaty for the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources. The Convention seeks to address all threats to biodiversity and ecosystem services, including threats from climate change, through scientific assessments, the development of tools, incentives and processes, the transfer of technologies and good practices and the full and active involvement of relevant stakeholders including indigenous and local communities, youth, NGOs, women and the business community.

About the UNCCD

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the only legally binding international agreement on land issues. The Convention promotes good land stewardship. Its 196 Parties aim, through partnerships, to implement the Convention and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The end goal is to protect our land, from over-use and drought, so it can continue to provide us all with food, water, and energy. By sustainably managing land and striving to achieve land degradation neutrality, now and in the future, we will reduce the impact of climate change, avoid conflict over natural resources and help communities to thrive.

About the UNFCCC

With 197 Parties, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has near universal membership and is the parent treaty of the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement. The main aim of the Paris Agreement is to keep a global average temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The UNFCCC is also the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The ultimate objective of all agreements under the UNFCCC is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system, in a time frame which allows ecosystems to adapt naturally and enables sustainable development.