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Nature-based Solutions in the spotlight at the New York Climate Summit

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Date: 21/09/2019 – 25/09/2019
Venue: New York, USA

World leaders will gather at the United National Head Quarters this coming week to discuss concrete initiatives and proposals for dealing with climate change. UN Secretary-General António Guterres is calling on all leaders to come to New York on 23 September with concrete, realistic plans to enhance their nationally determined contributions by 2020, in line with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent over the next decade, and to net zero emissions by 2050. Sixty heads of states are expected to take the podium to announce more ambitious plans – or at least plans to plan in time for next year’s climate talks.

Some of those expected to make an appearance include India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, France’s President Emmanuel Macron, the UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, German chancellor Angela Merkel, and the Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte. China is due to send a foreign minister, while the United States and Australia remain outside the dialogue.

As part of the climate action plans, business sectors and NGOs, including Wetlands International, are mobilising under specific coalitions and action tracks, led by governments, including those on water, nature-based solutions and urban resilience.  At the same time, major global programmes such as the Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA) 2020 “Year of Action — Acceleration – Adaptation” are helping consolidate efforts across scales and sectors to feed into the planning and commitments by the governments.

Wetlands International, as part of the UN’s Nature-Based Solutions Coalition and Global Resilience Partnership, will be among the organisations contributing to the summit and will share its knowledge and experience on ecosystems restoration for human security, nature-based solutions and urban resilience.

Through compelling examples of wetland restoration and nature-based solutions, already highlighted in the Global Commission on Adaptation’s flagship report on Adaptation, we aim to demonstrate how communities can adapt and build resilience in the face of climate emergency.

See below for a list of the sessions we are speaking at and participating in.

21 September, Saturday

Infrastructure, Cities and Local Action (ICLA) / Nature Based Solutions: Climate Emergency Solutions
Time: 15:00 –18:00
Venue: United Nations HQ
Organiser: UN – SG

Addressing climate-related security risks through concrete action – voices from the field
Time: 16.00-17.30
Venue: United Nations Headquarters, New York, Conference Room 5
Organisers: Group of Friends on Climate and Security

22 September, Sunday

Building a Resilient Future – Resilient cities, infrastructure and energy systems
Time: 14.00-16.00
Venue: Starr Hall L.02 flexible room
Organisers: GRP, co-hosts ICF, Adaptation Fund, GCA, GRP, ICCCAD/LUCCC, ICLEI, IDF, ISO, Climate Change Task Force, PIANC, RCCC, Resurgence, Slum Dwellers International (SDI), UNCTAD, Urban Systems Lab at the New School, WI; Climate Finance Climate Policy Initiative.

22 September, Sunday

Nature-Based Solutions track meetings / launch NBS Momentum HL event (NBS Coalition)

Time: 09:30–14:15
Venue: United Nations HQ
Organisers: UN-SG, NBS Coalition, facilitated by Dr. David Nabarro
Summary: In the session, the compendium of selected proposals for NBS will be shared, followed by discussion on NBS opportunities. Head of the coalitions and CEOs of partner organisations will present the main outcomes leading to the vision of mainstreaming NBS for SDGs, Paris Agreement and 2030. Jane Madgwick, CEO of Wetlands International will present cases from Blue Lifelines for a Secure Sahel (BLiSS) speak initiative as an example of scalable, replicable, and successful nature based resilience and adaptation.

The intersection of climate and conflict risk: Accelerating action to achieve resilience
Time: 10,00-12,30
Venue: Main auditorium
Organisers: Global Resilience partnership
Co-hosts: IISD, ODI, Mercy Corps, WI, Stockholm Climate Security Hub, Near East Foundation, RCCC
Summary: Climate disasters and climate change can act as a threat multiplier, exacerbating conflict and fragility, while conflict and fragility can amplify vulnerability to climate stress. This climate-conflict nexus can lock populations into a perpetual cycle of poverty, fragility and risk. This session will share experiences and commitments from different stakeholders living and operating in this intersection of climate and conflict risk, highlighting a suite of actions that are being deployed – and scaled – to build climate resilience in fragile, conflict-affected settings. Karounga Keita, Director of Wetlands International Sahel, will speak about the link between wetlands and ecosystems, ambitions and next steps for Mali and and the importance of community level innovations.

Building a Resilient Future through Nature-Based Solutions
Time: 14.00-16.00
Venue: Main auditorium
Organisers: Global Resilience Partnership
Session leads: WI, IUCN, IIED
Summary: The session will include discussion actions on nature based solutions to build long term resilience. It will explore actions based on nature that can build resilience to extreme events, that can preserve and restore land, freshwater and marine ecosystems while tackling issues of food and water insecurity, employment, equality and equity, among others. Jane Madgwick, CEO of Wetlands International and Henk Nieboer, Director EcoShape will announce their joint leadership and intention to collaborate with other Asian countries to ‘Accelerate Adaptation through Building with Nature in Asia’. Jane Madgwick will also will pledge commitment for its Blue Lifelines for a Secure Sahel (BLiSS) initiative.

23 September, Monday

Accelerating nature-based solutions for adaptation across sectors
Time: 1:00 – 12:30
Venue: Nature Climate Hub, Convene, 101 Park Avenue
Organisers: TNC, WCMC, CI, GCA

23 September, Monday

NY Climate Summit

Time: 14.00-16.00
Venue: UN-HQ
Organisers: UN-SG

24 September, Tuesday

Countdown to the Climate Adaptation Summit: Launch of the Year of Action; ACTION – ACCELERATION – ADAPTATION
Time: 11:30 – 13:00
Venue: Conference Room 7, UNHQ, 760 United Nations Plaza, NYC.
Organisers: Hosted by the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, in support of the co-chairs of the GCA, convened by UN-SG H.E. Mr. António Guterres. The GCA Adaptation’s Year of Action will commence.