The months leading up to the UN Climate Change Conference COP28, due in December in Dubai, are crucial for rallying government, philanthropy, and private sector efforts towards achieving the Mangrove Breakthrough’s ambitious goal to accelerate action and investments for “securing the future of over 15 million hectares of mangroves globally by 2030”. Wetlands International, reports back from the New York Climate Week in September, which was one of the milestone event for building momentum for the Mangrove Breakthrough on the road to COP28.
The Mangrove Breakthrough is an initiative led jointly by governments, NGOs, and financiers, aiming to create a step change in action for mangroves, unlocking USD 4 billion and securing the future of 15 million hectares of mangrove forests by 2030. Launched at UNFCCC COP27, the Mangrove Breakthrough is part of the UNFCCC’s 2030 Breakthrough Agenda and building on the work by the Global Mangrove Alliance (GMA) of which Wetlands International is one of the initiating and Steering Committee partners.
In New York, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the host-country of COP28 in Dubai, announced that they endorse the Mangrove Breakthrough. They also revealed to host a Mangroves Ministerial during COP28’s Nature, Oceans and Land Use Day on 9 December, together with the Mangrove Alliance for Climate (MAC),
the Global Mangrove Alliance (GMA) and the High-Level Climate Champions, to elevate these critical ecosystems on the global climate agenda. This event will focus on accelerating finance, policy and technology to enable the Mangrove Breakthrough.
HE Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment said “The Mangrove Breakthrough represents a significant stride towards reducing carbon emissions and preserving our planet’s natural treasures,”. She called on all countries to support the initiative, including the members of the Mangrove Alliance for Climate (MAC), which is spearheaded by the UAE in partnership with Indonesia, so that the initiatives are complementing each other in achieving the Mangrove Breakthrough’s goal of securing 15 million hectares by 2030.
Pieter van Eijk, Head Coasts & Deltas at Wetlands International: “The Ministerial will be part of a series of Mangrove Breakthrough events at COP in which we will amongst others present a financial roadmap and introduce on the ground initiatives implemented with Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities and others. We will also present important tools, including the Global Mangrove Watch, the Mangrove Restoration Tracker Tool and the upcoming Best Practice Mangrove Restoration guidelines. We will seek to drive best-in-class approaches, moving away from single-sided mass treeplanting towards inclusive rehabilitation approaches that involve local stakeholders and build on the scientific insights.”
Also Costa Rica endorsed the Mangrove Breakthrough in New York during a mangrove workshop organised by the Mangrove Alliance for Climate. H.E. Franz Tattenbach Capra, Costa Rica’s Minister of Environment who made the announcement said “We have to commit to action with the best of science that we have, speed matters!” He also said that Costa Rica will come to COP28 with a concrete mangrove plan.”
The United Kingdom was the first government to join the Mangrove Breakthrough at the launch, already at COP27, and recently Sierra Leone and the Rio de Janeiro government signed on. In New York, the UK announced a package of measures to address pressing challenges such as biodiversity loss, marine protection and climate change. As part of this, they reconfirmed their commitment to the Mangrove Breakthrough, highlighting the UK’s recognition of the vital role mangrove ecosystems play in carbon sequestration, biodiversity conservation, and climate resilience. Thérèse Coffey, Environment Secretary, United Kingdom said: “I cannot speak at any event without mentioning mangroves. We are endorsing the Mangrove Breakthrough. Our announcements will help to tackle biodiversity loss at sea and on land, and I urge more nations to join us as we drive forward progress on this global mission ensuring a sustainable future for generations to come.”
Cristián Samper, Managing Director and Leader for Nature Solutions at the Bezos Earth Fund, highlighted that Bezos is supporting the Mangrove Breakthrough. He underlined: “the goal is not to protect 30% of the mangroves of the world, in line with the 30 by 30 commitments, but to ensure long-term protection of remaining mangroves is increased from 40% to 80%. It is time to step up our ambitions and we’re delighted and very proud to be part of this journey.”
Race to Zero member, Salesforce, in partnership with the Climate Policy Initiative (CPI), also announced its support for the Mangrove Breakthrough as part of a $8.3 million grant towards climate justice and nature-based solutions. The support for the Mangrove Breakthrough is a keystone in Salesforce’s climate finance strategy. Naomi Morenzoni, SVP of Climate & Innovation Philanthropy at Salesforce, commented: “We are investing in climate justice and nature-based solutions. From restoring mangroves to empowering ecopreneurs, we’re dedicated to addressing climate change’s most pressing challenges, making a tangible impact on our planet and communities.”
In New York, Mangrove Breakthrough partners, Bezos Earth Fund and Salesforce organized a Breakthrough Activation roundtable lunch for Philanthropy & Grantmakers to discuss the vision for the new Financial Roadmap to achieve the Mangrove Breakthrough, as well as insights about the current and future pipeline of high-quality locally-led mangrove protection and restoration projects.
To date, the initiative is endorsed by more than 40 partners. Governments can join the Mangrove Breakthrough by signing the Mangrove Breakthrough Declaration and can showcase their endorsement and commitments at a high-level event at COP28. Please indicate your interest in joining by contacting Luz Gil at firstname.lastname@example.org or Carlos Correae at email@example.com.
Earlier this year, the Mangrove Breakthrough brought together over fifty policymakers, experts, practitioners and the private sector in Abu Dhabi, during a technical workshop organised by the GMA, the UN High Level Champions, the UAE, the MAC, and others to develop a collective roadmap to reach the targets of the Breakthrough. This was followed by a webinar in August which highlighted key takeaways from the discussions, and critical actions and convenings on the road to COP28 and beyond.