Initiated on the basis of UNEA resolution 5/5 of March 02, 2022, entitled “Nature-based solutions to support sustainable development”, the first intergovernmental consultation on nature-based solutions was held on May 16 and 17, 2023 on the United Nations “interactio” platform. An average of 200 participants took part in this first international consultation, including representatives of UN member states, intergovernmental organizations, representatives of multilateral environmental agreements, major groups and stakeholders, including the African Environment Network (AEN).
Seven items were on the agenda of this ground-breaking event for safeguarding the environment and sustainable development, co-chaired by H.E. Ms Giovanna VALVERDE STARK, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to UNEP and UN-Habitat, and Ms Sikeade EGBUWALO, Senior Forestry Officer, Nigerian Ministry of Environment and Nigerian National Focal Point for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
After the opening of the meeting by the co-chairs, the consultation continued with opening remarks from UNEP, who indicated that it is important to devote time to these international consultations, given that nature-based solutions could create up to 20,000 new jobs in agriculture, forestry, fisheries and green infrastructure development. Discussions on the overall objective of the consultations and the three specific tasks then formed the backbone of this international meeting.
The overall objective of this intergovernmental consultation on nature-based solutions is to strongly support the implementation of NBS as defined in resolution 5/5. The emphasis is on raising the profile of nature-based solutions within governments, and funding these solutions, which are all the more important for tackling the three global crises of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss affecting human health and the environment.