Biodiversity and climate change day in the EUROCLIMA pavilion at COP27

In the framework of COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, the EUROCLIMA pavilion devoted a day exclusively to biodiversity and climate change issues.

8 November 2022, Sharm El Sheik, Egypt. Given the high relevance of the biodiversity issue, in the framework of COP27 in Sharm El Sheik, Expertise France and GIZ (the German Society for International Cooperation), international cooperation agencies that are part of EUROCLIMA, the European Union's flagship programme, dedicated a day exclusively to biodiversity and climate change issues.

Throughout the day, the views of different actors were presented: governmental entities, representatives of indigenous peoples, civil society, financial institutions, and private business associations.

Discussions revolved around the presentation of actions and experiences on the ground for addressing climate change; they also discussed the different modalities of combined climate and biodiversity funding and stressed how vital it is to consider biodiversity inside and outside protected areas, as well as beyond forests, so that other ecosystems must be considered. In addition, oceans and wetland areas were specifically discussed as crucial carbon sinks. The importance of conserving, preserving, and restoring biodiversity while reducing the vulnerabilities of the most affected communities to climate change was also discussed.


The Biodiversity Thematic Day at the EUROCLIMA pavilion consisted of three sessions and two panel discussions. The first session opened with the theme: “Ancestral knowledge, territorial governance, jurisdictional REDD+: actions to confront the climate crisis in Mesoamerica and the Amazon”. Representatives of the Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests and the Confederation of Amazonian Nationalities of Peru took part in this event, where we heard a series of reflections on the importance of ancestral knowledge ("from the indigenous cosmovision the supra and infra world generate all knowledge") and how to articulate it with scientific knowledge to face the challenges of climate change.

The panellists pointed out that populations that are more dependent on natural resources are also more vulnerable to climate change, and should therefore be involved in territorial processes, projects, and investments. They also indicated that it is vital to ensure the equitable sharing of the benefits generated by biodiversity.

The session also presented different experiences with women as agents of change, through different initiatives, such as "weavers of knowledge" who recover and maintain ancestral knowledge and pass it on to new generations, as well as participating in decision-making and leadership.

This first session also presented the experience of an indigenous economy model with deforestation-free territorial governance based on three pillars: 1) governance, 2) economy, 3) monitoring. Finally, there was a reflection on the REDD+ mechanisms of the carbon market, in which the participation of local actors is key from the beginning to ensure their rights and territorial governance, and with the funds generated, to land with projects to improve the living conditions of the populations and local development.

The second session of the day was dedicated to “Financing nature for the climate”, with the participation of various actors from the financial sector, such as AXA and BNP Paribas.

This session discussed how financial institutions are integrating the relationship between climate and biodiversity into their strategies. Nature-based solutions enable the implementation of actions based on the local landscape.

The session also underlined the need to generate more knowledge about the long-term benefits of nature and biodiversity, and emphasised the lack of data, criteria, and indicators to measure and monitor the impacts of investments and projects on the preservation, conservation and restoration of ecosystems.

As perspectives, representatives of financial institutions mentioned the trend away from financing projects and companies that have controversial and negative impacts on climate and biodiversity. They also indicated the expansion of their investments in actions for forests, oceans, wetlands, and other dryland ecosystems. At the end, it was pointed out during this discussion that the aim is to shift perspectives towards financing positive actions for nature and biodiversity.


In the third session, civil society representatives discussed and presented in the framework of the event “Forest and oceans as key biodiversity reserves: experiences and contributions from civil society to promote climate action in LAC”.

The session discussed considering biodiversity beyond forests and including the oceans for their importance as carbon sinks. They also reflected on the role of civil society advocacy and citizen insistence to promote the creation and implementation of sustainable climate public policies and discussed the priorities in Brazil after the last presidential elections, one of them being the recovery of the Amazon, despite the strong interests of the industrial agriculture sector.

During the session, it was recommended to promote cooperation for shared research and technology transfer to strengthen the role of the bioeconomy as an engine for development. Finally, the Escazú Agreement was discussed, as well as how to continue working on its implementation and the defence of the rights of environmental defenders in the LAC region.

In the panel discussions, moderated by Michel Schlaifer, Biodiversity and Climate Change Expert at Expertise France, with the participation of Jérémie Pellet, Director General of Expertise France, who pointed out that ¨We need to work together as Team Europe: the key role as EC+ is to make sure that we have a good level of political dialogue at all levels (from policy to population).

The first part of the debate looked at the relevance of considering biodiversity inside and outside protected areas with equal urgency and priority. Within protected areas, national and international frameworks already exist. Outside protected areas, the agro-ecological transition must be strengthened as a key issue in climate change adaptation and mitigation. By including a focus on sustainable productive landscapes, territorial coherence for biodiversity will be better ensured.

It was also stressed during this debate that the region is home to hundreds of varieties of cereals, basic grains, potatoes and tubers, grasses and fodder plants, shrubs and trees. Scientific research and field experiences demonstrate the potential of these species for productive development, their high capacity to adapt to climate change, and their role in reducing risks compared to the monospecific technical itineraries of agricultural production.

LigiaBio2“If there are no forests, we will have no free resources. Restoring mangroves strengthens the local blue economy, and they are a carbon stock," said Ligia Castro de Doens, Director of Climate Change, Ministry of Environment, Panama. Doens also referred to how the loss of biodiversity affects public health "(...) when froglets disappear, the presence of mosquitoes that spread diseases such as dengue increases".

The second part of the discussion delved into the modalities of financing for biodiversity and climate change, which can be synthesised into two groups of mechanisms, national and international sources. In the national mechanisms, an analysis was made of the experience of "payments for taxes" in Peru, water funds in Peru and Colombia, as well as payments for ecosystem services or functions.

Patricia Valdés, manager of the sustainability committee at the National Society of Industries, a Peruvian business association, said that in her country, the national adaptation plan has estimated the cost of the 51 measures to be implemented. Valdés cited experiences of private companies involved in the valuation of products from the Amazon associated with the empowerment of its "guardians".

As options from financial institutions (FIs), Elena Canale, head of sustainability at France Assurance, reported on trends in several FIs to no longer finance companies and projects that are harmful to the environment and biodiversity. "The value of biodiversity must be integrated into planning and creating innovative mechanisms for mobilising funds with a focus on climate plus biodiversity," said Canali.

Recognising that there is a lack of "new" criteria and indicators for the analysis of investments, Michel Schlaifer mentioned the support from the Euroclima programme on the Economic Valuation of Environmental Services (VESA), in particular for developing biodiversity value under a robust methodology in the formulation of a project and also for establishing the fair amount of compensation if damage occurs in its implementation. He also introduced the reflection for introducing ecosystem "wealth" into national accounts and macroeconomic indicators such as the Gross National Product. An ECLAC expert testified that this issue is being worked on with several countries in the region.

In his concluding remarks, Bernd-Markus Liss, Head of Section Climate Change and Climate Policy Germany said "Climate and biodiversity are a continuous nexus with health, water, social, economic, cultural and spiritual values. We need an integrative approach including key indicators, criteria and safeguards" and Pilar Román, Euroclima+ Coordinator for Resilient Food Production (PRA): added "The EUROCLIMA+ programme is very much aligned with what was discussed and presented today, the new programme approach for the new phase (2023-2028) will have a stronger focus on biodiversity, which means that synergies between climate change and biodiversity objectives will be addressed more explicitly".

The closing of the workday was with the event “The Restoration of Ecosystems and Landscapes Reducing Vulnerabilities to Climate Change. Challenges and Opportunities in the SICA region”, organised by the Central American Commission for Environment and Development (CCAD) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).





EUROCLIMA+ is a programme funded by the European Union and co-financed by the German federal government through the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), as well as by the governments of France and Spain through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation.

The Programme's mission is to reduce the impact of climate change and its effects in 18 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, promoting mitigation, adaptation, resilience and climate investment. It is implemented according to the "Spirit of Team Europe" under the synergistic work of seven agencies: the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), the AFD Group: the French Development Agency (AFD)/ Expertise France (EF), the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the International and Ibero-America Foundation for Administration and Public Policy (FIIAPP), the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) GmbH, and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

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Euroclima is the European Union's flagship programme on environmental sustainability and climate change with Latin America. It aims to reduce the impact of climate change and its effects in Latin America by promoting climate change mitigation and adaptation through resilience and investment. 
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