© Conservation International | Kyle Obermann

Mangrove outcomes at COP27

By Maddie Fry and Claire Elverum
Conservation International

Last November at the UN Climate Negotiations (COP27) in Sharm-El Sheikh, Egypt, the GMA in collaboration with the UN Climate Change High-level Champions launched the Mangrove Breakthrough, a science-based, measurable, and achievable goal for non-state actors and governments to collectively restore and protect mangroves at scale. The Mangrove Breakthrough aims to secure the future of 15 million hectares of mangroves globally by 2030 through collective action on: halting mangrove losses, restoring half of recent mangrove losses, doubling the protection of mangroves globally, and ensuring sustainable long-term finance for all existing mangroves by achieving an investment of 4 billion USD by 2030.

At COP27, Parties continued to build on the progress made in Madrid (COP25) and Glasgow (COP26) to strengthen ocean-based climate action under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and in national climate goals. The importance of ocean-based action was recognized in the COP27 decision text, which encouraged Parties to consider how to incorporate ocean-based actions, such as mangrove restoration and conservation, in their national climate goals and implementation plans. Parties also called for additional structure for future Ocean and Climate Change dialogues, held each June at the mid-sessional conference, to allow for in-depth discussion on specific sets of challenges and opportunities, such as blue carbon action. Future dialogues will be facilitated by two co-facilitators selected biennially by Parties, who will be responsible for deciding the topics for and conducting the dialogue in consultation with Parties and observers. The continued momentum on ocean-based climate action is encouraging, and increased structure in the annual Ocean and Climate Change dialogue will ideally lead to stronger outcomes and integration of actions into ongoing UNFCCC processes and national climate goals.

The Global Mangrove Alliance and Global Mangrove Watch teams launched two policy briefs prior to COP27 that detail how national policymakers can integrate mangrove ecosystems into climate and wetlands policy frameworks. These briefs continue to serve as helpful resources for parties and countries to apply the Global Mangrove Watch as a tool for target-setting, monitoring, and reporting on mangrove ecosystems.