“Our relationship with nature is about love and respect because nature gives us everything we need to survive. This is the final call to wake up, take awareness, take action, change how we live.”- Chief Tashka Yawanawa, Yawanawa indigenous leader, Brazilian Amazon
On Sunday, September 22 at the Nature’s Climate Hub, a coalition of civil society, governments, multilateral institutions, and indigenous peoples gathered for Forest and Restoration Day. The event occurred on the margins of the UN Secretary-Genera’s Climate Summit during Climate Week. It was the first day of a four-day series of events in collaboration with Nature4Climate to celebrate and endorse nature’s role as a climate solution. The Nature4Climate coalition and event participants explored what is happening around the world on forests and restoration and dove deeper into the solutions to shift from land degradation and exploitation to protection, restoration, and sustainable use of forest landscapes. There were more than 30 sessions showcasing government actions and national policies; recognizing the efforts of and learning from indigenous peoples and local communities; and discussing mobilizing finance, private sector action and deforestation-free commodities, the role of science and technology, scaling up restoration, and multi-sectoral initiatives and commitments.
“On the eve of the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit, there is a need to reposition forests as a development, security, safety, and climate agenda item.” –Jamison Ervin, UNDP & NYDF Global Platform Secretariat
The hallways of the Hub were full of energy as people from different walks of life and diverse sectors assembled to amplify a common message: that we cannot keep global warming below 1.5 degrees C or achieve sustainable economic and social development without protecting, restoring and sustainably managing forests. Below is a summary of the day’s events. The full program and event descriptions are available here.
“Today we are going to feel the freedom to take action…we are not united to save the indigenous [peoples], we are united to save the planet. Nature is home. Nature is life. That is why it is important that every person, that every human being, act in their own home, in their hearts.”- Tzam Tigre Tzamarenda, Shuar shaman from the Ecuadorian Amazon
Forest Day by Numbers:
- 6 events presented or organized by forest countries
- 6 events organized by UN Agencies including, UNDP, UNEP, UN REDD, and FAO
- 8 events hosted by non-governmental organizations
- 7 events hosted with and by indigenous peoples and local communities
- 11 Big Idea Talks were given by youth representatives, a Minister from Gabon, a UN Agency, several NGOs, an indigenous representative, a religious leader, and a representative from academia.
- 6 reports related to forests and climate launched and disseminated by leading experts on forest and climate science and policy
- 5 exhibits displayed in the hallways throughout the day including a photo exhibit from If Not Us Then Who; an immersive artistic installation called BREATHE by Chilean artist Denise-Lira Ratinoff; a presentation of a spatial data tool for conservation planning called UN Biodiversity Lab; a virtual reality experience called ‘Under the Canopy’ by Conservation International; and a story-telling exhibition with Youth4Nature.
Download the full report and summaries of each session here.
- Forest Day summary by Nature4Climate: https://nature4climate.org/news/naturenow-wrap-up-sunday-22nd-september/
- To read about the rest of the Hub events, visit the Natural Climate Solutions (NCS) Newsroom: https://nature4climate.org/news/
- UNDP Press Release: Nature’s Climate Hub events at the UN Climate Week
The Nature’s Climate Hub has been made possible by the funding and support of the United Nations Development Programme, New York Declaration of Forests, Conservation International, World Conservation Society, The Nature Conservancy, Youth4Nature, and The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.
About the authors
Madeline Craig, Programme Analyst, UNDP