High hopes for Commonwealth joint action on climate, biodiversity and land

Chair of CARICOM, the Hon. Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda at the podium (Photo via Commonwealth Secretariat)

(Commonwealth Secretariat Press Release) Leaders from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific have expressed their strong support for a proposed ‘Living Lands Charter’ that will spur cooperation among 54 nations to manage land use sustainably, protect the natural world and fight climate change. 

During a high-level event this week at the UN Climate Change Conference COP26, the Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland reiterated a “call to action for living lands”, integrating the targets of the three Rio Conventions on biodiversity, climate change and desertification, which arose from the historic 1992 Rio Earth Summit.

“I commend the Secretary-General for the Living Lands initiative in which she and the Commonwealth are playing their part in ensuring that we protect our biodiversity and protect human civilisation. There is a need to accelerate implementation of the various initiatives so that we can contain global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees… To do otherwise would be to fail small island states.”

Chair of CARICOM and Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, the Hon. Gaston Browne

She said: “The proposed Commonwealth Living Lands Charter seeks to catalyse the global political momentum for enhancing climate action, building resilience, reducing biodiversity loss, and arresting land degradation.”

Focus areas to be explored within the charter include climate resilient agriculture, soil and water conservation and management, sustainable green cover and biodiversity, and the active engagement of indigenous people.

The initiative was supported by the prime ministers of Fiji and Antigua and Barbuda, who joined the discussions along with ministers from Zambia, Namibia and Uganda.

Read more at: Commonwealth Secretariat

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