Coping with environmental challenges: climate and biodiversity action in UNESCO designated sites
UNESCO side event at the High-level political forum on Sustainable Development
Climate change is a threat multiplier: the impacts of pandemics like COVID-19 are likely to be exacerbated by climate change, as are extreme climate events, biodiversity loss and the water crisis. In fact, the most prominent risks to humanity are climate action failure and extreme weather events, according to the 2021 Global Risk Report*. We cannot afford to fail, and thankfully we have solutions to put us on the right path.
We know that biodiversity and climate change are strongly interlinked: climate action must go hand in hand with biodiversity protection. UNESCO’s unique global network of designated sites are important models for building resilience to climate change and reconciling people and nature. Through them, UNESCO combines science, policy and concrete solutions.
This unique network of over 2,000 sites around the world (1,121 World Heritage sites, 714 Biosphere Reserves and 161 Global Geoparks), covering 6% of the Earth’s landmass, is accelerating local sustainable solutions through participatory governance and the combination of natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, education, culture and communication, but also by providing policy guidance to its Member States on the impacts of climate change.