The Lovely, Lovely Land

You won’t solve climate change without forests. But, amid all the potential to address climate change from the land, we need to watch our step.

Land is not only about forests and mitigation. It’s where food is grown, homes are built, cultures are rooted, water cycles are nurtured, and where biodiversity works its magic. ECO takes a deep, calming breath, visualises waterfalls, diverse forests and birdsong. Ahh…

Among exciting whispers of growing climate ambition, ECO wants to make sure that the lovely land that we all rely on is not accidentally trampled on in the rush to stay below 1.5°C. Climate approaches that would leave communities landless and nations hungry–for example by afforesting over hundreds of millions of hectares of African farmland–would undermine the purpose of the whole UNFCCC.

ECO reminds Parties that we need to watch our step when it comes to land.  There hasn’t been much time this week to talk about this properly.

Fortunately, lots of good work on land has been done in other relevant international processes. We need a mandate in the decision text to develop principles and establish guidelines to ensure that actions in the land sector are in line with all relevant obligations, rights and best practices, and that mitigation supports, rather than undermines, key obligations and social protections.

This will help us to keep that discussion alive as we strengthen the Paris outcome towards 2020. By doing so, we can make sure that your full belly, your favourite forest hike, and your 1.5°C target can all be secure in the decades to come.

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