Ibero-American ministers agree on a declaration for a joint response to the climate change and biodiversity crises

News - 2022.11.17

Sharm El-Sheikh (Egypt)

At the meeting, which was held in Sharm El-Sheikh within the framework of the 27th United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP27), the leaders present at the meeting adopted a declaration to take urgent action against biodiversity loss and climate change.

Ministers agreed that, as science indicates, increasing biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation, which have been accelerated by climate change, are already key risks for all regions without exception. They therefore believe that an integrated approach is essential to stop biodiversity loss, land degradation and climate change.

In this regard, Ribera said that "to date, the vast majority of policies for these environmental crises have been developed independently, but they can only be resolved if they are tackled together".

According to the Vice-President, that is why "we wanted to put forward a Declaration by the ministers of the RIOCC to unite our voices and emphasise that this decade represents a critical window for addressing these interdependent crises".

The Declaration also stresses the importance of achieving ambitious outcomes at COP27 and COP15 on Biodiversity, to be held next month in Montreal, in the form of quantified targets and adequate funding, as this will enhance the success of both policies.

It also highlights the importance of nature-based solutions, which should be conceived as transformative solutions that promote the resilience of natural ecosystems while preserving their multiple contributions to the societies that depend on them.

It also emphasised the commitment to strengthening regional collaborative actions that address both challenges in an integrated manner, relying on the broad portfolio of policies, measures, experiences and tools already existing in the region.

Meeting biodiversity targets

Family photo of the meeting

The ministers also presented the plans and policies they are implementing to meet various biodiversity objectives, being aware of the important role this plays in guaranteeing a constant flow of ecosystem services to society, including climate regulation, soil protection, food security, protection of our health, cultural values and identity, among other benefits.

Finally, during the meeting, it was pointed out that this ministerial momentum is fundamental for continuing to advance in the Ibero-American Environmental Agenda and, more specifically, in the Ibero-American Environmental Charter, with the leadership of the Dominican Republic acting as pro-tempore Secretariat, for its approval at the next Summit of Heads of State in Santo Domingo, scheduled for March 2023.

Learning about challenges and experiences in Ibero-America

The Ibero-American Network of Climate Change Offices (RIOCC) was created in 2004 by the Ibero-American Forum of Environment Ministers with the main objective of maintaining a permanent fluid dialogue to better understand the priorities, challenges and experiences of the Ibero-American countries. RIOCC has become one of the most consolidated networking initiatives in the region, where the exchange of experiences and the strengthening of institutions has been a priority from the outset. RIOCC has climate change offices in 22 countries: Andorra, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela.

The Spanish Office for Climate Change (OECC) has assumed the role of RIOCC Secretariat from the beginning, coordinating and organising the different activities.

Non official translation