COP28: Mangroves Ministerial to Advance Nature-Based Climate Solutions

COP28: Mangroves Ministerial to Advance Nature-Based Climate Solutions

/ Policy & Regulations / Thursday, 21 September 2023 07:32

The UAE has endorsed the Mangrove Breakthrough Agenda and announced a high-level Mangroves Ministerial at COP28 to call together mangrove-hosting governments and partners including civil society, philanthropy, financial institutions, as well as the scientific community to scale up and accelerate the conservation and restoration of mangrove ecosystems.

A collaborative effort between the Global Mangrove Alliance (GMA) and the UN Climate Change High-level Champions, the Mangrove Breakthrough aims to restore and protect 15 million hectares of mangroves globally by 2030. Today, the world has 14 million hectares of mangroves left, half their original extent.

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Underlining the UAE’s endorsement of the Mangrove Breakthrough, H.E. Mariam Almheiri, the UAE’s Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said, "The UAE recognizes the paramount importance of mangroves in combating climate change and supporting our coastal communities and we look forward to helping drive real on-the-ground change. I invite nations around the globe to support this unique initiative.” She was addressing influential climate leaders at the Climate Week NYC 2023.

The key objectives of the Mangrove Breakthrough are halting mangrove losses, restoring half of the recent mangrove loses, doubling the protection of mangroves on a global scale, and calling for an investment of US $4 billion by 2030 to conserve and revitalize mangrove ecosystems.

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The Mangrove Breakthrough is an integral part of the Sharm El Sheikh Adaptation Agenda, which seeks to accelerate resilience efforts for vulnerable communities worldwide.

 “Mangroves exemplify the power of natural systems that advance our climate efforts while providing co-benefits for people, nature and biodiversity,” said HE Razan Al Mubarak, UN Climate Change High Level Champion for COP28.

The UAE’s support for mangrove ecosystems, including its own national target to plant 100 million plants by 2030. The country has also formed partnerships with international organizations, NGOs, and other countries to share best practices, conduct joint research, and implement marine conservation projects.

The UAE launched the Mangrove Alliance for Climate (MAC) in partnership with Indonesia to promote mangroves as a nature-based solution to climate change. It has attracted 20 partners to scale up and accelerate the conservation and restoration of mangrove ecosystems for the benefit of communities worldwide.

Mangroves are extremely effective carbon sinks as they can store around 1,000 tons of carbon per hectare in their biomass and underlying soil, according to the United Nations (UN). Mangroves also play a crucial role in bolstering coastal resilience and nurturing biodiversity.

Mangrove forests cover about 0.1% of the planet’s surface, but they can store up to ten times more carbon per hectare than terrestrial forests, according to Mangrove Alliance for Climate (MAC).

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