On 24 and 25 March 2021, the British Embassy in Costa Rica, in collaboration with the Forever Costa Rica Association, hosted the virtual seminar, “Harnessing the power of nature for climate change adaptation and resilience.”
This event aimed to drive momentum for action and alignment on nature and adaptation ahead of COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021, encouraging countries to sign up to the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature (LPN), the High Ambition Coalition (HAC) and the Adaptation Action Coalition.
Sessions evidenced how putting the LPN into action and delivering adaptation through nature-based solutions bring tangible benefits and contribute to a green recovery.
The two-day event was inaugurated by Anne-Marie Trevelyan, UK International Champion on Adaptation and Resilience and Andrea Meza, Minister of the Environment and Energy of Costa Rica.
In her introductory remarks, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, said:
Nature-based solutions for adaptation help protect people from disasters, support and create livelihoods, and can offer strong value for money. This is why the UK is putting nature, adaptation, and resilience at the heart of its preparations for COP26.
We greatly welcome Costa Rica’s membership to the Adaptation Action Coalition, to convert political commitments into tangible delivery on the ground. I urge other Latin American and Caribbean governments to share progress, and highlight where further action and support is needed, through the publication of Adaptation Communications ahead of COP26.
The activity featured presentations from a range of climate change experts including Lord Zac Goldsmith, UK Minister of the Environment and Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta, Economist, who spoke on the findings of his report, The Economics of Biodiversity.
Also among the key speakers were Peruvian Vice-Minister for the Environment, Luisa Elena Guinand; Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility; and specialists from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
Over 600 individuals attended the virtual event, with participants from over 30 countries in Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa. Discussions underscored the imperative of placing nature at the centre of national climate change policies as well as the need for a more inclusive approach to adaptation and resilience strategies, recognising the value of local knowledge and solutions.
Financing for nature-based solutions was also raised as a priority issue. Lord Goldsmith stressed that the UK would double UK International Climate Finance to £11.6 billion, and spend at least £3bn of this over the next five years, on solutions that protect and restore nature.