Story | 05 Mar, 2021

New IUCN initiative urges governments to invest in nature as part of their recovery from the global pandemic

Gland, Switzerland, 05 March 20201 (IUCN) – IUCN has called on governments to channel investments towards nature and nature-based solutions as part of their economic recovery packages to address the ongoing pandemic.

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Restoring mangroves is one of many proven ecosystem-based adaptation strategies that benefit local communities as well as biodiversity.

Photo: Ana Grillo

The impacts from the pandemic have exacerbated poverty and environmental challenges, according to IUCN State Members participating in two separate virtual events hosted by IUCN on March 3rd.  

To ensure that government stimulus packages responding to the pandemic are robust and fit for purpose in the long term, the IUCN Nature-based Recovery initiative aims to ensure that at least 10% of overall investments in stimulus packages are channelled to nature, nature-based solutions and interventions that add value to nature.

“We must build back better and greener,” said IUCN Director General Dr Bruno Oberle. “The decisions that will be taken now, regarding how the world will recover from the pandemic, will impact our future for decades to come. Recovery investments can simultaneously address the COVID-19 crisis – by improving public health, job security and fiscal stability, and also enhance environmental sustainability by investing in nature and nature-based solutions at scale.”

 “We must do everything in our reach to shift our societies, economies, production and consumption patterns to a development model that not only invests but also integrates nature at its core, and thus ensures a sustainable future for all,"  added Dr Oberle.

According to IUCN, this is particularly important for developing and emerging economies, like India and Indonesia, where up to a third of their GDP comes from nature-dependent sectors such as agriculture, forestry and fisheries.

As part of the new initiative, IUCN will analyse a range of measures to stimulate economic activity, conserve nature and foster sustainable development. The goal is to help decision-makers worldwide adopt “nature-positive” policies and measures guided by tools such as the IUCN Global Standard for Nature-based Solutions.

Many countries are responding to the global pandemic by allocating trillions of dollars to fiscal stimulus packages to develop longer-term economic recovery programmes. IUCN State Members from China, Costa Rica, Egypt, Peru, Russia, Senegal and South Africa, as well as the European Commission represented by Portugal, participated in the high-level dialogues. They highlighted why investing in nature is imperative for countries to be able to build greater economic and environmental resilience.

“The economic recovery has to be green and it has to be blue, and nature-based solutions give us the opportunity of being sustainable and with long-term investments,” said Costa Rica’s Minister of Environment and Energy, Ms Andrea Meza Murillo.

For more information, visit the IUCN Nature-based Solutions webpages here.

Watch recordings of the virtual events on IUCN's Youtube channel:

Morning session - English - French - Spanish

Afternoon session - English - French - Spanish