The IUCN French Committee and its PPI team attended the 28th Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP28), held in Dubai from 30 November to 12 December 2023. This was a high point in the climate negotiations, as its aim was to draw up the first global stocktake of the commitments made by the States in Paris in 2015 at COP21. This was an opportunity to reiterate the importance of integrating Nature-based Solutions (NbS) into the global political agenda, in order to respond effectively and simultaneously to the joint crises of climate and biodiversity.
As actions for the protection, sustainable management or restoration of ecosystems, NBS are effective and varied solutions for mitigating and adapting to climate change, in terrestrial or marine environments, urban or natural spaces, in both northern and southern countries. They are also local projects that bring together and mobilise a wide range of stakeholders.
From 7 to 12 December, Paul Estève, PPI Coordinator, and Rodrigue Castro Gbedomon, Director of Research and Learning at the NGO ACED, alongside Stéphanie Bouziges-Eshchmann, Secretary General of the French Global Environment Facility, and Maud Lelièvre, President of the IUCN French Committee (remotely), led thematic sessions on Nature-based Solutions (NBS) at the pavilions hosted by the French Ministry for Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion and IUCN. This was a key moment that served as a reminder of the importance of integrating SfN into the global political agenda, in order to respond to the joint crises of climate and biodiversity. It was also an opportunity to stress the need to deploy NbS in Africa by supporting local civil society and setting up concrete projects!
In this respect, the pilot project “Renaturation of the town of Abomey-Calavi in Benin” carried out by the PPI partner NGO ACED is a fine example of a successful SfN project. Through the development of green spaces, the creation of agro-ecological farms and the planting of trees in the city, the project’s objective illustrates a dual benefit: maintaining local biodiversity and reconnecting natural habitats, while at the same time reducing air pollution and creating urban heat islands.