Dawn illuminates a view across Estancia Monte Dinero and the Atlantic Ocean, Rio Gallegos, Argentina.
Sunrise vista Dawn illuminates a view across Estancia Monte Dinero and the Atlantic Ocean, Rio Gallegos, Argentina. © Nick Hall

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Leaders’ Pledge for Nature: World leaders commit to reversing nature loss by 2030

More than 60 Heads of State and Government endorse the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature, committing to decisive action on nature to protect human and planet

Heads of State and Government from more than 65 countries, spanning five continents and the President of the European Commission for the European Union, have today committed to reverse nature loss by the end of the decade.

The Leaders’ Pledge for Nature: United to reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 for Sustainable Development sees leaders pledging to undertake urgent actions as part of the UN Decade of Action to achieve Sustainable Development, including on the road to the Convention on Biological Diversity COP in 2021. It comes days ahead of the UN Summit on Biodiversity, sending a strong, united signal that the world must step up ambition to halt and reverse nature loss for the benefit of people and nature and to help tackle climate change.

The Pledge, which will be officially launched at the Leaders Event for Nature and People today, part of the Nature For Life Hub, is a direct response to our escalating Planetary Emergency, and the need for urgent and immediate global action to address our interdependent biodiversity, climate and health crises. A number of non-state actors1 are also supporting it.


Jennifer Morris, Chief Executive Officer, The Nature Conservancy, said: “For too long, we have woefully under-valued and under-invested in nature. This pledge is a shared commitment to action from leaders across sectors and governments to center nature in economic plans, including stimulus recovery efforts. Our research shows that we need to spend an additional $600-$800 billion annually to reverse the biodiversity crisis—and that governments can pave the way with the right policies, regulations, and incentives.  By combining political will and hard numbers, we can shift to a nature-positive world, address the climate emergency, and build a future where people and nature thrive together.” 

Executive Secretary of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Elizabeth Mrema said: ''Heads of Government and Heads of State have sent a strong message in their support for the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature.

“The urgency, unity and ambition of the pledge, to halt and reverse unprecedented rate of nature loss, is an inspirational contribution to the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, to be adopted at the next Conference of the Parties to the Convention in Kunming, China.''

Johan Rockström, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Earth Commission co-chair, said: “I welcome the Heads of State Declaration. Two major reports published this month conclude we are utterly failing to protect the diversity of life on Earth. We are failing to protect the resilience of our global commons. And we are failing to ensure a stable planet for future generations. This is a planetary emergency. But it is also a transformative moment for humanity. I urge political leaders not to waste it.”

Key commitments in the pledge include:

Taking urgent actions now to reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 for sustainable development; including:

1.     The development and full implementation of an ambitious and transformational post-2020 global biodiversity framework to be adopted in Kunming, China, next year;

2.     Transitioning to sustainable patterns of production and consumption and sustainable food systems that meet people’s needs while remaining within planetary boundaries;

3.     A green and just response to the current health and economic crisis, integrating a One Health2 approach and putting biodiversity, climate and the environment as a whole at the heart of recovery strategies, investment decisions and actions across the whole of government;

4.     Investing more money in biodiversity and nature-based solutions and also committing to eliminating or repurposing harmful investments and aligning financial flows to environmental commitments and the Sustainable Development Goals to achieve the wellbeing of people and safeguard the planet.

Leaders also committed to meaningful action and mutual accountability to address the Planetary Emergency, working with all parts of society and meeting at milestone events including UNGA 2021 to review progress and reaffirm commitments.

A post-2020 global biodiversity framework, agreeing a global goal for nature and replacing the Aichi targets with new biodiversity targets, is due to be adopted in Kunming, China, under the UN Biodiversity Convention next year.

Notes:

The UN Summit on Biodiversity is due to take place on Wednesday 30 September 2020. For the first time ever, more than 116 Heads of State and Government have requested to speak at the Summit, marking the high level fora as a historic moment for biodiversity.

1Non-state actors supporting the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature include: GEF, World Bank, International Chamber of Commerce, FaithInvest, Danone, WWF, Climate & Sustainability, Incitare International, OS-Climate, ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, Global Choices, Conservation International, Facing Future, Capitals Coalition, BirdLife International, Care International, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, The Nature Conservancy, CEDENMA, The Planetary Emergency Partnership, Wildlife & Countryside Link, World Resources Institute (WRI), TreeSisters.

'One Health' is defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as an approach to designing and implementing programmes, policies, legislation and research in which multiple sectors communicate and work together to achieve better public health outcomes. It brings together the expertise across public health, animal health, plant health and the environment. 

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 79 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.