UK environment minister Thérèse Coffey has today pledged £30m for nature projects at COP27 on Biodiversity Day.
The finance will go to the Big Nature Impact Fund – a new public-private fund for nature in the UK which will unlock private investment into projects such as new tree planting and restoring peatlands.
Coffey also unveiled a further £12m for the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance to protect and restore vulnerable coastal communities and habitats, as well as £6m to help support developing countries enhancing nature through the UNDP Climate Promise.
In addition, the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) Multi-Donor Trust Fund for the Amazon will receive £5m to tackle deforestation through community-led projects while harnessing local knowledge and providing business opportunities for Indigenous People.
The funding comes ahead of next month’s vital meeting of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity in Montreal (COP15), for which IEMA has organised a webinar.
Coffey called on countries to come together at the summit to agree a robust global plan for tackling nature loss.
Speaking in Sharm El-Sheikh, she said: “Over half of the world’s GDP is reliant on nature, which is why the UK put nature at the heart of our COP26 presidency and led calls to protect 30% of land and ocean by 2030.
“At next month’s COP15 we will strive for an ambitious agreement that includes a global 30 by 30 target, a commitment to halt and reverse biodiversity loss, and an increase in resources for the conservation and protection of nature from all sources.”
While significant progress has been made, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) believes that more action is needed from the public and private sectors to bridge a $700bn funding gap needed to stop nature loss.
The environment minister also today sought to raise awareness of the importance of mangroves and their role in coastal resilience by endorsing the Mangrove Breakthrough led by the UNFCCC High-Level Champions and the Global Mangrove Alliance.
She also highlighted the climate benefits of blue carbon by giving support for the new Global Ocean Decade Programme for Blue Carbon, which has now launched a new Global Graduate scheme for early career blue carbon researchers.
Lord Goldsmith, minister for international environment, climate, forests & energy, welcomed today’s announcements, adding: “The fastest route to net zero is restoring the world’s forests and protecting nature. And the value of forests and other ecosystems goes so much further than climate.
“The greatest guardians of nature has always been indigenous people, which is why the UK is delighted to support communities in the Amazon in their efforts to protect and restore their environment.”