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G20 Environment Communiqué

Naples, July 22, 2021
[pdf]

PREAMBLE

  1. We, the G20 Environment Ministers, met in in person and remotely in Naples on 22nd of July 2021, commit to continue and increase our efforts to address the interconnected challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution as well as habitat loss degradation and fragmentation, invasive alien species, land degradation and desertification, decline in ocean and seas health, and the unsustainable use of freshwater and other natural resources. We are convinced that overcoming these challenges is essential for a healthy planet which is the prerequisite for human well-being, inclusive and sustainable economies, and sustainable production and consumption. Such challenges need to be tackled in a synergetic and complementary manner, avoiding a silo-approach. Conscious of the role G20 members have in responding to these challenges and mindful that 2021 is a critical year for catalyzing and scaling up transformative action, we restate our commitment to the objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its sustainable development goals (SDGs) and targets, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

  2. We stress that biodiversity conservation, protection, sustainable use and restoration are critical to achieve the SDGs and to halt and reverse biodiversity loss. We welcome the special impetus toward achieving the vision of "Living in Harmony with Nature" by 2050 provided by the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030.Without prejudging any multilateral ongoing negotiation and in accordance with national priorities and policies, recognizing that countries have made varying progresses to achieve Aichi biodiversity targets, we will continue to champion efforts and call for all CBD parties to adopt and implement an ambitious, balanced, practical, effective and robust post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and also to encourage and support, as appropriate, responsibility, transparency, including enhanced reporting, and the implementation of enhanced support mechanisms to facilitate the transformational change needed to achieve the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity. Some G20 members and other countries support the Leaders' Pledge for Nature and some have voluntarily committed to ensure that at least 30% of land and at least 30% of the global ocean are conserved or protected through well-connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures by 2030. G20 members that made these voluntary commitments encourage and support others to make similarly ambitious commitments.

  3. We recognize that some of the potential underlying causes of some emerging infectious diseases and zoonoses in humans are the same as those that drive biodiversity loss, land degradation and climate change and that pandemic risk can be lowered by targeting such drivers. We note the scientific contribution of the 2020 IPBES Workshop Report on Biodiversity and Pandemics. We commit to integrate the One Health approach and other holistic approaches in all relevant policies and decision-making processes, also to address challenges including food security, zoonotic spillover and future pandemics. We welcome the establishment of the One Health High Level Expert Panel (OHHLEP) by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and encourage further close co-ordination and collaboration.

  4. We are determined to reiterate and step up our efforts to end illicit threats to nature and crimes that affect the environment, including illegal logging and illegal wildlife trade, and other harmful activities such as, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and illegal traffic of waste which contribute to environmental degradation, pollution, biodiversity loss, land degradation and desertification, forest degradation, deforestation and climate change. At the same time, we will intensify our cooperation with relevant Ministers to combat illicit financial flows deriving from crimes that affect the environment including by implementing the global standards and recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force.

  5. We will strive to building forward better in ways aligned with the 2030 Agenda and particularly in a way that: protects, conserves and restores our natural ecosystems on which economies and societies depend; does not contribute to, but prevents habitat and biodiversity loss, including unsustainable forest management desertification, forest and land degradation; accelerates the transition to inclusive, sustainable and just low-carbon economies; makes communities more resilient to the impacts of climate change; and increases resource efficiency through circular approaches according to national priorities and circumstances. Furthermore, we will strive to ensure that biodiversity loss, land degradation and climate change will be addressed together as part of broader environmentally sustainable and inclusive recovery plans and actions in the post COVID framework.

I. Nature-based solutions or ecosystem-based approaches to address climate change, biodiversity loss and poverty

  1. We aim to harness the power of Nature-based Solutions or Ecosystem-based Approaches to address biodiversity loss, restore degraded land, boost resilience, mitigate and adapt to climate change, while providing multiple benefits across the economic, social, and environmental domains. We highlight that they do not replace the priority actions needed to urgently reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a way that is consistent with Paris Agreement goals, but are a crucial and complementary tool that is needed alongside these efforts. We note, the contribution of the outcomes of the IPBES-IPCC co-sponsored workshop report on biodiversity and climate change. We recognize the need of scaling up and implementing Nature-based Solutions or Ecosystem-based Approaches in key sectors of our societies and economies, and across all ecosystems including urban areas, while ensuring social inclusion and environmental safeguards protection. We highlight the importance of the full and effective participation of local communities, Indigenous Peoples and relevant stakeholders in local decision-making, recognizing their rights, in accordance with relevant national legislation and international instruments, as appropriate. We agree to hold a workshop on Nature-based Solutions and Ecosystem-based Approaches to share national experiences in implementing these approaches and to increase awareness and understanding of the possibilities, benefits and impacts of such actions, reporting back to the G20 2022.

II. UNESCO International Environmental Experts Network

  1. We commend Italy's initiative that in December 2020 led to the establishment of a "UNESCO Network of international environmental experts" providing the UNESCO Staff of designated sites with information on conservation, sustainable use of biodiversity and the ecological restoration of ecosystems, with technical support and capacity building] and we note the network is open for voluntary participation and contribution.

III. Call for action on protecting, conserving, sustainably managing and restoring degraded lands

  1. We welcome the successful convening of the workshop organized by the Italian Presidency on the G20 Global Initiative on Reducing Land Degradation and Enhancing Conservation of Terrestrial Habitats launched under Saudi Arabia's Presidency in 2020. We reiterate our support for the Initiative and on a voluntary basis, will continue to lead, strengthen cooperation, further promote investment and provide adequate means of implementation and share experiences on land protection, conservation, sustainable management and restoration initiatives and programs in line with the objectives of the Initiative.

  2. We stress that the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration is a crucial window of opportunity to protect, conserve, restore and sustainably manage land, including forest, and water resources. Building on existing initiatives we share the ambition to achieve a 50% reduction of degraded land by 2040, on a voluntary basis. We will continue our efforts to combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, and strive to achieve Land Degradation Neutrality by 2030 in furtherance of SDG Target 15.3 and a number of related Sustainable Development Goals and Targets. We encourage the integration of land conservation, restoration and sustainable management into post COVID19 recovery plans and strategies. We emphasize that healthy ecosystems, inter alia, forests, grasslands, drylands, rangelands, croplands, peatlands, mangroves, soil, tundra, karst, and wetlands are essential for the sustainability of biodiversity, food security and supporting human health and well-being. This underscores the importance of terrestrial ecosystems and the services they provide including for both global food security and resilience to future shocks. In this context, we welcome the G20 Matera Declaration on Food Security, Nutrition and Food Systems, contributing as appropriate to working with relevant Ministers towards the UN Food Systems Summit. We support voluntary global and national efforts to protect and conserve land and ecosystems in accordance with national priorities and policies. We aim to coordinate our actions with ongoing multilateral efforts for the protection conservation, sustainable management and restoration of degraded terrestrial ecosystems and habitats.

IV. Call for action on sustainable water management

  1. We acknowledge that water resources are globally at risk due to anthropogenic pressures, such as growing demand, climate change, pollution and inadequate sanitation services and restate our commitment to the achievement of SDG 6 and other relevant SDGs. We recognize the interlinkages between water, climate, the ocean, land and ecosystems and We will promote cross-sectoral and integrated approaches to sustainably manage and use water resources for multiple purposes, and to protect and, or, restore water ecosystems.

  2. We commit to strengthen cooperation and collaboration, including through sharing innovation and best practices in order to improve and enhance sustainable and resilient integrated water resource management at the river basin scale recognizing the benefits of cooperation between neighboring countries also through the G20 Dialogue on Water, to encourage adequate actions, to prevent unsustainable consumption and to reverse degradation of water related ecosystems and loss of biodiversity and restore water quality, also promoting the benefits deriving from Nature-Based Solutions or Ecosystem Based Approaches and sustainable infrastructures according to national circumstances and approaches. We commit to work with other relevant ministers to take forward measures for the equitable access to affordable drinking water, hygiene and sanitation for all and in particular for vulnerable and underserved groups.

V. Call for action on our ocean and seas

  1. We are deeply concerned that the health of our ocean and seas is at serious risk due to the adverse effects of increased atmospheric emissions levels, climate change and other anthropogenic stressors. We call for the intensification of actions to conserve, protect, restore and sustainably use the ocean, seas and marine resources, including climate change adaptation and mitigation actions, at all levels, consistent with international law, as applicable,[1] as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). We welcome the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) and support its objectives and in particular recognize that collaborative ocean science for action is needed. We reiterate our support for the Global Coral Reef R&D Accelerator Platform launched under the Saudi Arabia G20 Presidency, and call for strengthening actions to conserve, protect, restore and sustainably use tropical and cold water coral reefs and other key marine and coastal ecosystems and habitats. We promote the role of the regional dimension and encourage Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans (RSCAP) and Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs) together with other competent actors, to enhance their cooperation and coordination to address emerging challenges and support the achievement of ocean related SDGs at all appropriate levels.

  2. We recognize that overfishing, illegal, unreported, unregulated and destructive fishing practices, and fisheries subsidies contributing to IUU fishing, overfishing and overcapacity, remain a serious threat to the health of our Ocean and seas and the sustainability of marine resources. We support the ongoing WTO fisheries subsidies negotiations to reach a meaningful agreement with effective discipline on the harmful fisheries subsidies, in line with SDG 14.6. We reaffirm our commitment expressed in G20 Osaka Leaders' declaration to end IUU fishing, in accordance with the targets of SDG 14 and the relevant international law. We are also committed to conserve the marine environment, including biodiversity, and to ensure the sustainable use of marine resources while working on the effective implementation of relevant international instruments.

  3. We highlight the importance of making progress in the ongoing negotiations for an ambitious and balanced international legally binding instrument under UNCLOS[1], for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ). In the context of the International Seabed Authority (ISA[2]) we support the development of International seabed mining regulations, in line with the precautionary approach, that result in the effective protection of the marine environment.

  4. In the context of the Antarctic Treaty System, we fully support, and encourage further progress to implement, the long-standing commitment of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), recognizing Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), can serve as a powerful tool for protecting sensitive ecosystems representative of the Convention Area, in particular in East Antarctica, the Weddell Sea and in the Antarctic Peninsula.

VI. Renewing our efforts on Marine plastic litter

  1. Recognizing the serious impact of marine litter and in particular marine plastic litter on, inter alia, marine ecosystems, coastal areas, fisheries, and tourism, we reaffirm our commitment to the implementation of the G20 Marine Litter Action Plan, its Implementation Framework, and the Osaka Blue Ocean Vision. We welcome the Third Report on the G20 Implementation Framework for actions on Marine Plastic Litter coordinated by Japan and reiterate our commitment to act at the global level cooperating with non-G20 countries and other stakeholders. We welcome the work of the ad hoc open-ended expert group (AHEG) established by UNEA resolution 3/7 and extended by UNEA resolution 4/6 towards UNEA 5.2, and will fully engage in discussions, with the aim of taking a decisive step forward on that occasion on suggested options which include strengthening existing instruments and multi-stakeholder engagement and developing a new global agreement or instrument to address marine plastic litter.

  2. We also call for the intensification of actions to tackle sources of marine plastic litter, including inadequate management of land-based sources and abandoned, lost and otherwise discarded fishing gear, also known as Ghost Gear, by building on national, regional and global efforts, by all countries, in partnership with relevant stakeholders, organizations and initiatives. We recognize the need to tackle plastic pollution, including, but not limited to, by adhering to the waste hierarchy and implementing a comprehensive life-cycle approach, and note the positive impacts that the national implementation of extended producer responsibility schemes has had in some of our jurisdictions. We promote enhancing public awareness and education along with other actions as appropriate to significantly reduce unnecessary single use plastics item and we will strive to reduce plastic waste and encourage that transboundary movements of plastic waste does not contribute to marine plastic pollution in line with relevant multilateral environmental agreements, as appropriate.

VII. Call for action on Sustainable and circular resource use

  1. We acknowledge that resource efficiency and circular economy are important tools available for the achievement of sustainable development and that they can contribute significantly to sustainable consumption and production as well as to addressing climate change, biodiversity loss, land degradation and pollution. As the G20, our vision is to drive forward actions in this area in order to help achieve the multiple outcomes outlined above and contribute to the achievement of SDG 12 and other relevant SDGs. To achieve this vision, we therefore encourage: innovation, design, and manufacture to ensure product longevity, enable repair, reuse, and recycling, and other value retention approaches, sustainable use of natural resources, minimize waste and emissions, regenerate ecosystems, sustainable supply chains, and create sustainable and socially inclusive business models, in accordance with national priorities and policies We also encourage relevant and adequate actions by all stakeholders to fulfil these objectives, while acknowledging the contributions from relevant international and regional organizations and processes.

  2. Recognizing the G20 Resource Efficiency Dialogue's valuable role in facilitating exchange of knowledge and best practices on resource efficiency and circular economy, we commit to continue our collaboration in this format. Building on existing initiatives and engaging youths as powerful agents of change, we will encourage the implementation of circular economy practices and approaches by promoting dialogue, cooperation, partnerships, joint learning, including sharing information on national extended producer responsibility schemes inter alia on the built environment, food waste prevention, and fashion and textile value chains, including textile industries, pursuant to national policies and priorities. We thank the Italian G20 Presidency for having provided space for discussion by organizing workshops on these subjects. We will enhance collaborations with industry, international organizations and relevant stakeholders to stimulate the high-quality design of durable and recyclable products and to build the necessary skills, innovations and infrastructure. We task the G20 Resource Efficiency Dialogue to step up action by sharing information on relevant national indicators, targets and best practices in all these areas to strengthen policy development and by further developing its portal. We also call upon the G20 Resource Efficiency Dialogue to review and adjust its Roadmap to reflect the vision detailed in paragraph 18 by involving relevant international partners, stakeholders and programmes including, and not limited to, the IRP, the OECD, the UNIDO and the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production. We also take note of the findings of the OECD background G20 report on "Towards a more resource efficient and circular economy".

VIII. Sustainable and Circular Cities

  1. We recognize the role of cities as promoters, facilitators, and enablers of sustainable development, including through sustainable consumption and production patterns and circular economy, and welcome the work that is ongoing in the G20, underlining the importance of coordination across levels of government. We encourage efforts to put in place relevant instruments and incentives that can support cities in advancing towards these objectives, in a socially inclusive way consistent with the SDGs, in particular SDG11 and SDG12 as well as the New Urban Agenda. We therefore commit to support cities in their efforts to improve resource efficiency and circular approaches, including through the G20 Resource Efficiency Dialogue.

IX. Education, capacity building and training

  1. We recognize the critical importance of involving youth in environment-related processes at all levels and empowering younger generations with the necessary skills and tools to contribute to foster sustainable consumption and production. We also recognize the need for innovative approaches to deliver environmental education, training and to re-orient relevant institutions towards how younger generations can be agents of change and support the economic transition. We therefore commit to enhance cooperation and foster stronger effective measures, in cooperation with other ministers, to ensure that younger citizens become and remain environmentally conscious through formal, non-formal and informal, education channels and possess adequate knowledge, mindsets, skillsets and competences to adopt and promotesustainable practices in their daily life and our economies.

X. Sustainable Finance

  1. We highlight the urgent need to align financial flows to sustainable development, as well as for additional financial flows from a wide variety of sources if we are to meet biodiversity, ocean, land degradation and climate targets and enhance ecosystem services. We underline the many synergies in financial flows for climate, biodiversity and ecosystems, and we will strengthen those synergies to maximize co-benefits. In this context we recognize the importance of work on nature-related financial disclosure and take note with interest of the establishment of the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD).

  2. We invite financial institutions and all relevant actors to participate in ongoing discussions aiming to consider the conservation and sustainable use of the environment in financial and corporate decision-making and reporting and to increase financial flows for sustainable development including for nature, biodiversity and ecosystems, taking into account local contexts and conditions. We take note of the upcoming second edition of the 'Finance in Common Summit' recognizing the role that development finance institutions can play through the inclusion of considerations of nature in their financing and the use of the 2030 Agenda as a compass.

  3. We welcome the role and renewed focus of the G20 in supporting the realignment of financial flows in line with sustainable growth including global climate and biodiversity objectives – including through the G20 Sustainable Finance Working Group (SFWG) and its ongoing work on a multi-year G20 Sustainable Finance Roadmap. We recognize that the roadmap is initially climate focused but adaptable to consider a wider range of dimensions of sustainability, including nature, in the future, in alignment with the goals of the Paris Agreement and MDB's continued and scaled-up support for countries' goals concerning 2030 Agenda, development, climate and nature. We look forward to enhancing our discussions using the best expertise on issues relating to the funding of nature, including through cooperation between the EDM, SFWG and other relevant G20 Groups. We welcome UNDP's support to both processes, as this provides a means of bridging the two efforts, ensuring complementarity and avoiding duplication.

CONCLUSIONS

  1. Mindful of the interconnectedness of poverty, health, economic and environmental challenges, we commit to a just and equitable transition to sustainable economies, leaving no one behind, whilst taking into account the different levels of development and capacity of countries. We encourage the provision of financial, technological and capacity building support to developing countries especially to the least developed countries, making the best use of existing governance frameworks and working to identify new and innovative solutions. Recalling the principles of the Rio Declaration and recognizing that we face different challenges, we will strengthen our international cooperation towards sustainable development.

Napoli, 22 July 2021

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[ 1] Turkey remarks that it is not a party to the UNCLOS.

[ 2] Turkey remaks that it is not a member of the ISA.

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Source: Official website of the Italian G20 Presidency


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