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Tackling climate change is a high level priority - UNFCCC COP23

The required governmental commitments to fight against climate change and uphold the Paris Agreement  were being addressed during the UNFCCC COP23 in Bonn, Germany.

At the very entrance the UNFCCC COP23 conference center, you face a drua, a Fijian ocean-going canoe, as a reminder ‘’to the entire world that we are all in the same canoe when it comes to climate change” said Peniana Lalabalavu, Chief Coordinator for the COP23 Presidency.

The 23rd conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), chaired by the Prime Minister of Fiji Frank Bainimarama, took place in Bonn, Germany. He declared during the opening ceremony:

‘’The human suffering caused by intensifying hurricanes, wildfires, droughts, floods and threats to food security caused by climate change means there is no time to waste […] We must preserve the global consensus for decisive action enshrined in the Paris Agreement and aim for the most ambitious part of that target – to limit the global average temperature rise to 1.5 degrees above that of the pre-industrial age‘’.

As a direct answer to this appeal, COP23 organized the coming together of governments from 6-17 November 2017 to speed up the implementation of all Paris Agreement objectives. Objectives designed to tackle climate change and adapt to its effects, by taking immediate actions to keep the global temperature rise below 2°C and as close as possible to below 1.5°C.

Climate change is recognized as the key threat to many ecosystems. On November 13th, in Bronn, IUCN released a report announcing that the number of natural World Heritage sites affected by climate change doubled in the last three years: 62 sites are now threatened by climate change, compared to 35 three years ago, with coral reefs and glaciers most at risk.  

At COP23, IUCN highlighted the critical role of nature in providing practical solutions to tackle climate change and adapt to its impacts. The benefits of healthy ecosystems are numerous; they provide important natural resources and support human livelihoods, as well as a cultural identity for many people around the world. Healthy ecosystems are vital to help countries and communities better adapt to the effects of climate change via nature-based solutions.

Photograph by Radhika Murti


A detailed understanding of ecosystem status allows us to prioritize actions to ensure they remain healthy and functional. The IUCN Red List of Ecosystems (RLE) provides an evidence-based global standard to assess risks to ecosystems, at global to local scales, highlighting key information on how to manage ecosystems sustainably, address current threats, and prevent further degradation. As climate change intensifies, ecosystem risk assessments will be increasingly important to show how improved ecosystem management can reduce risks, enhance resilience and promote adaptation.

Healthy ecosystems equate both sustainable natural resources and communities and imply,therefore,a sustainably healthy world. IUCN’s work assesses the risks that climate change poses to nature and communities, advancing practical nature-based solutions built upon improved conservation, management and restoration of the world’s ecosystems. IUCN strives for a just world that values and conserves nature, and successfully delivered its key message to the world during UNFCCC COP23.


Written by: Cléa Serpollier

Style and Format: Ana María Fernández

Provita Nov 30, 2017


IUCN Red List of Ecosystems


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