Leaders’ Pledge for Nature:
A global recommitment to the planet

Leaders Pledge for Nature

On September 28th, leaders from all over the world announced the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature – an agreement which aims to unite and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 as a part of the UN’s decade on biodiversity. It comes at a moment when countries face rising pressure to build back better, and public support for a green recovery in the UK and across the world is high. In this blog, we take a closer look at the pledge, its commitments, and why this could become crucial in the challenge to restore nature which our whole planet faces.

What is the pledge?

The UN Leader’s Pledge for Nature is a recommitment to tackling the climate crisis, and to signal increased efforts to protect nature and biodiversity. The pledge outlines the urgent need for global action, especially given the economic and health impacts of COVID-19. It also acknowledges the importance of global collaboration in order to create a greener world and achieve carbon targets. The pledge also aims to achieve the Living in Harmony with Nature vision, as part of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

What are the 10 pledge commitments?

  1. Prioritise a green COVID-19 recovery.
  2. Fully implement an ambitious post-2020 global diversity framework with robust goals such as:
    • Consideration of Indigenous communities.
    • Greater monitoring and reviews.
  3. End traditional silo thinking.
  4. Commit to sustainable patterns of food production and consumption through:
    • Shifts in agricultural policies.
    • Improvements to supply chains.
    • Tackling unsustainable use of oceans.
    • Eliminating ocean plastic by 2050.
  5. Raise domestic policies to align with the Paris agreement.
  6. End environmental crimes such as illicit trafficking of wildlife and timber.
  7. Mainstream biodiversity policies in key sectors.
  8. Integrate a “One-Health” approach.
  9. Strengthen financial and non-financial means of implementation.
  10. Implement science-based policies and recognise the role of indigenous knowledge.

Which countries are taking part?

A total of 64 countries have committed to the Leader’s Pledge for Nature, across all continents.The UK has joined this pledge, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson announcing that 30% of the UK’s land will be protected for nature by 2030. This means an extra 400,000 hectares of land will be dedicated to nature protection, the size of the Lake District and South Downs national parks combined.

In joining the pledge Johnson announced that:

“We cannot afford to dither and delay because biodiversity loss is happening today, and it is happening at a frightening rate”

Several non-state actors have also committed to the pledge such as the Business for Nature Coalition, the World Health Organisation, WWF, World Resource Institute (WRI) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

Why now?

The announcement of this pledge comes at a turning point, with calls to deal with the climate crisis becoming increasingly urgent. David Attenborough’s recent documentary “Extinction: The Facts” made abundantly clear how human exploitation of nature has changed our planet in mere decades. The Metronome digital clock in New York also recently transformed into a climate clock, counting down the time left for us to curb greenhouse gas emissions and achieve a 1.5-degree temperature rise.

With COVID-19 providing governments with an opportunity to re-boost the economy, it is more important than ever that a green recovery is prioritised, and more countries join in the global effort to restore nature.

Further reading:

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