illuminem takes pride in exclusively presenting the updated Open Letter for Nature, precisely one month following its initial endorsement by the CfN's Global Steering Committee. The letter now bears the signatures of over 20 former Heads of State, Presidents, Prime Ministers, and Ministers, among other notable figures.
Dear World Leaders,
We are writing as the Campaign for Nature’s Global Steering Committee, a group of former heads of state, ministers, diplomats, and scientists, that has come together out of a firm belief that governments must act with greater urgency and ambition to confront the alarming loss of biodiversity and nature around the world.
We would like to congratulate you on helping to secure the landmark Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework agreed at COP15 in Montreal last December, which was headlined by the science-based target to protect or conserve at least 30% of the world’s land and inland waters and at least 30% of the world’s coastal and marine areas by 2030, while respecting the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities and recognizing their territories.
As you and other world leaders move to implement this historic agreement, we urge you to prioritize efforts to increase biodiversity financing and to ensure that an increased percentage of biodiversity financing goes to Indigenous Peoples and local communities, who help conserve 80 percent of the world’s biodiversity but receive less than one percent of the funding. We would like to emphasize, in particular, the commitment you and other countries made at COP15 to increase international financing from developed countries to developing countries to at least $20 billion by 2025.
Ambitious targets to halt and reverse nature loss will only work when complemented by sufficient financing. Given the size of the biodiversity finance gap and the concentration of biodiversity in the developing world, $20 billion per year in international finance is a notable increase, roughly double the status quo. Meeting this imminent benchmark is an essential first step if the world is serious about conserving the planet’s biodiversity and fully implementing the Montreal Agreement. We recommend that donor countries move fast to devise a strategy and roadmap so that delivery of the $20 bn annual commitment is viable by 2025.
It is encouraging that the Summit for a Global Financing Pact explicitly stated its aim is to build a new contract between the countries of the North and the South and a platform for action to finance development, nature, and climate. It is also heartening to note that in June the GEF Council approved a new Global Biodiversity Fund. We hope that both of these events mark the beginning of far greater attention and priority placed on the importance of nature financing from the highest level of government.
This is not the time to withdraw from global environmental leadership, this is the time to keep the promise - honor financial commitments, be bold with policy choices, and stand in partnership with the developing world to protect and restore nature at home and abroad.
Russ Feingold, Former US Senator, and Presidential Envoy to the Great Lakes Region (Chair)
His Excellency Iván Duque, Former President of Colombia
His Excellency Ernest Bai Koroma, Former President of Sierra Leone
Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Former President of Liberia
His Excellency Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, Former President of Iceland
Her Excellency Mary Robinson, Former President of Ireland
His Excellency Hailemariam Desalegn, Former Prime Minister of Ethiopia
His Excellency Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, Former Prime Minister of Uganda
Yongyuth Yuthavong, Former Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand
Graça Machel DBE HonFBA, Former First Lady of South Africa
Loren Legarda, President pro tempore of the Senate of the Philippines
Susana Malcora, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Argentina
Amre Moussa, Former Foreign Minister of Foreign Affairs Egypt
Christiana Figueres, Former Executive Secretary to the UNFCCC
Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, President, Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad (AFPAT)
Dr. Zakri Hamid, Former Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia
Professor Rashid Sumaila, Institute for Oceans and Fisheries
Tony La Vina, Lawyer, and Environmental Policy Expert
The letter is featured in illuminem's Thought Leadership series on COP28 proudly powered by Tikehau Capital.
The CfN Global Steering Committee constitutes the highest-profile political group working to safeguard nature. This esteemed group of former heads of state, ministers, diplomats, and scientists has tirelessly championed the 30x30 goal since its inception and is now issuing a clarion call to world leaders to urgently and ambitiously confront the continuing loss of nature and to prioritize commitments made to increase biodiversity financing immediately.
This letter is also published on the Campaign for Nature website. illuminem Voices is a democratic space presenting the thoughts and opinions of leading Sustainability & Energy writers, their opinions do not necessarily represent those of illuminem.