Ocean protection, sustainable production and consumption, agricultural conservation, protection, sustainable management and many more commitments were disclosed on Saturday, which marked the end of the first week at COP26.
Over 10 new countries have agreed to commit to the thirty-by-thirty target, including India, Sri Lanka, Qatar, Gambia and Georgia, striving to protect 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030. With these additional endorsements, the proposition is now supported by over 100 countries. Following this discussion, the UK announced a £6 million investment into the World Banks Blue Planet fund (PROBLUE), which supports the development of integrated, sustainable and healthy marine and coastal resources.
Almost 100 high profile countries, from a range of sectors, announced their commitment to being ‘nature positive,’ in an agreement to work towards reversing the decline in nature and wildlife by 2030. This initiative will facilitate the implementation of Glasgow leaders’ declarations (launched on 2 November) to restore forests and land use, which now covers over 90% of the world’s forests. The benefit of this proposition includes the development of sustainable production and consumption, for example, on behalf of UK supermarkets, Sainsburys has partnered with the WWF to create a programme called ‘basket measures.’ The programme is expected to halve the environmental impacts of UK supermarkets by boosting regenerative agriculture, encouraging agricultural reformation and innovation and reducing the negative impacts by focusing on waste and packaging. To ensure the success of these achievements, a new global initiative has been launched to support 100 million farmers to reduce their emissions and become completely sustainable, with nature positive innovations. This is additionally intended to demonstrate how countries can integrate public policies to support the transition to sustainable agriculture.
Another roadmap has been launched to support the implementation of the Forest, Agriculture and Commodity Trade (FACT), with 28 countries working alongside each other toward protecting forests, whilst promoting development and trade. A further £65 million has been allocated to support developing countries to adjust their policies and practices to result in more sustainable agriculture and food production.
15% of the nations in agreement with the sustainable development strategy ‘Action Agendas,’ have made commitments to change agricultural policies to become more sustainable and to invest in the protection of food supplies. These commitments were established upon accommodation of the agenda proposed by Germany, who intend to reduce their land use emissions by 25 million tonnes by 2030.
The UK has also announced a financial commitment of £38.5 million to the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). These resources are to be applied over a 2-year period to produce new agricultural technologies to improve the climate, health, nature and economic impact. This funding involves the development of new livestock and climate resistant crop varieties, with more micronutrients to improve health, as well as more productive and sustainable agricultural practices. Although these ideas seem promising, the information disclosed so far has been ambiguous and no explicit details of how these ideas will be developed have been announced.
Written and edited by Sophia Axon and Jasmine Ayres