Dubai, United Arab Emirates (9 December 2023) – Leading, biodiversity-rich countries in the Global South have come together to announce the establishment of a Ministerial Alliance for Nature Finance. The Alliance will work to champion the importance of meeting a central financial pillar of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework: the commitment to increase international biodiversity finance to developing countries to at least $20 billion annually by 2025, which is roughly double current levels.

Despite the crucial importance of resource mobilization, there are currently no clear plans for how donor countries intend to reach the $20 billion figure. The Alliance will publicly and privately highlight the importance of the $20 billion target and encourage countries to focus on it as a crucial first step in ensuring that the overall global biodiversity framework is successfully implemented.

As part of its work, the Alliance will publicly track nature finance, including commitments from donor countries towards the $20 billion target and showcase the steps Alliance member countries are taking to increase nature finance domestically. The Alliance will also highlight conservation projects ready for investment, helping to demonstrate that ambitious biodiversity conservation is possible with sufficient financing.

Led by Nigeria, the inaugural member countries of the Ministerial Alliance for Nature Finance include Samoa, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. H.E. Dr. Iziaq Kunle Salako, Minister of State for Environment from Nigeria, announced the establishment of the Alliance in his remarks at the marquee event on Nature Day at COP28, From Agreement to Action: Harnessing 30×30 to Tackle Climate Change. The Alliance will welcome and announce additional member countries at the Sixth Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly in 2024.

As part of this announcement, the following leaders issued statements:

H.E. Dr. Iziaq Kunle Salako, Minister of State for Environment, Nigeria, said:

“To be clear, this commitment to international biodiversity finance is not charity. It is a promise that must be kept and one of many investments that is required to help achieve global nature and climate goals, sustainable economic development, social stability and geopolitical security. The countries that are best positioned to make this investment are those that have benefited economically the most from practices that have negatively impacted the state of biodiversity inside and outside of their borders. Delivering on the $20 billion per year pledge by 2025 or sooner is crucial for the success of our shared ambitions and will play an instrumental role in unlocking resources domestically.

“Through the Ministerial Alliance for Nature Finance we will not only work to hold Parties accountable to this $20 billion promise to nature, but we will highlight the actions that we are taking domestically to do our part in helping to close the biodiversity finance gap. Over half of the global GDP relies on rich biodiversity and healthy ecosystems. If we want to preserve the global economy, we must invest in protected areas just as we would invest in anything else that would provide an enormous return long into the future.”

H.E. Toeolesulusulu Cedric Schuster, Minister for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Samoa, said

“Samoa is pleased to join the Ministerial Alliance for Nature Finance. We are committed to helping the world protect at least 30 percent of the planet’s ocean, but we cannot do it alone or without sufficient financing. All countries have a role to play in funding the protection of nature as an essential way to fight climate change, preserve biodiversity, and support cultures, public health, and livelihoods. Meeting the $20 billion target will be the first test of whether world leaders are prepared to keep their promise to nature and future generations.”

Prof Wilson K. Tarpeh, Executive Director/CEO of the Environmental Protection Agency, Liberia, said:

“Liberia is excited to join the Ministerial Alliance for Nature Finance. Liberia is home to 43% of the upper Guinean Forest, which is one of the most biodiverse regions in the world.  As a country, we are ready to increase protections for our rich biodiversity, but we cannot do so without sufficient financing. A crucial part of this is international finance, which can catalyze the additional domestic resources that we need to achieve our goals. It is imperative that Global North countries keep their promise of delivering $20 billion USD annually by 2025 to Global South countries that safeguard the world’s biodiversity. This is critical not just for countries like Liberia, but for the survival of all life on Earth.”

H.E Jiwoh Abdulai, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Sierra Leone, said:

“Nature has regulated the planet’s climate for centuries. Sierra Leone, like other countries in the Upper Guinean Forests region, has been providing ecosystem services to the world for decades free of charge. However, undervaluation of the assets producing these services has led to land degradation and deforestation. We can reverse this trend if the world starts valuing these natural assets correctly and capital is invested in these natural carbon sinks. These natural assets are nature’s technology for Climate Change Mitigation. That is why Sierra Leone is proud to join the Ministerial Alliance for Nature Finance. Without adequate Financing we cannot reverse the twin crises of biodiversity loss and climate change.”

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