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L-R: Alex Popp, Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research; Carlos Martin-Novella, Deputy Secretary,
IPCC; David Cooper, Deputy Executive Secretary, CBD Secretariat; Hoesung Lee, Chair, IPCC; Mark
, University of Edinburgh; and, Almut Arneth, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Indigenous youth from the US, performing their traditional music at the Generations Climate Area

The final day of the RCP at UNFCCC COP21 convened on 10 December 2015, in Paris, France. The day was held under the theme ‘Synergies and Tradeoffs in Land-based Climate Mitigation and Biodiversity.’ Two sessions took place, namely on: synergies and tradeoffs in land-based climate change mitigation and biodiversity; and, the contribution of research-action clubs for agriculture and forestry sectors: economic expertise and innovation for climate.

In the afternoon, three films were also screened. The first film, titled ‘Youth Climate Report,’ was produced and directed by students, and provided an overview of climate change challenges. The second film, ‘Moana Rua,’ depicted the urgency of addressing climate change for Pacific Islanders. The third film, ‘Ethiopia Rising’ showed the story of land restoration projects in the Tigray region of Ethiopia.

The morning session included presentations from representatives of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and the CBD Secretariat. Both highlighted the opportunity to find solutions at the nexus of climate change and biodiversity. The presentations that followed provided modeling results, referring to different land-based mitigation scenarios, and looking at the tradeoffs and potential impacts of these scenarios on biodiversity and land-use change.

The afternoon session included presentations and discussions with representatives of French agriculture and forest clubs, who described their involvement across a network of organizations, working in the forestry and land sectors. These two clubs came together to address climate change, by sharing knowledge and learning from each other. The presentations focused on initiatives in France and wider Europe, and discussed cases of dairy farming, agriculture, reforestation and offsetting. Examples were also provided to demonstrate existing approaches to address climate change mitigation within the agriculture and forestry sectors.

Visit the full ENB+ coverage for Thursday, 10 December 2015

IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB+ Meeting Coverage, has provided daily web coverage, daily reports and a summary report from the Rio Conventions Pavilion (RCP). Our summary report is available in HTML or PDF format.


David Cooper, Deputy Executive Secretary, CBD Secretariat

Hoesung Lee, Chair, IPCC

Alex Popp, Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research

Almut Arneth, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

L-R: Marianne Rubio, ONFA, France; Philippe Touchais, APCA, France; and, Claudine Foucherot, I4CE

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

The penultimate day of the RCP at UNFCCC COP21, Gender Day, convened on 9 December 2015, in Paris, France. In the morning, participants took part in a session titled ‘Filling in the Blanks: Building the Evidence Base on Gender and Environmental Sustainability,’ which aimed to assess the current state of gender and environmental sustainability knowledge, and to identify opportunities and gaps for monitoring the progress of SDGs’ implementation.

In the afternoon, three sessions took place. The first afternoon session, titled ‘Focusing on Results: Bringing Forward Policy Actions and Sharing Experiences from the Field on Gender and Land Rights,’ aimed to share policy actions and experiences from the field to identify means and approaches to enable equal rights to access, ownership, and control over land. The second afternoon session, titled ‘Addressing Climate Adaptation and DRR through a Gender Lens,’ began with a panel discussion in which participants identified gender-responsive actions to foster climate adaptation, DRR, and opportunities for scaling-up, while bearing the SDGs in mind. They also heard experiences of local action from projects in Bangladesh, Guatemala, India, and the US. The final session, ‘Exploring Synergies in the Rio Conventions to Support the Achievement of the SDGs’ brought gender focal points from the three Rio Conventions together, as well as representatives of UNDP, the GEF, the GCF and Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO). Panelists discussed how the Rio Conventions could support achieving the SDGs, how each specifically relates to gender issues, and areas that still need to be improved to ensure better inclusion of gender across the three Rio Conventions.

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Gender Day participants at the Rio Conventions Pavilion

Tatiana Cordero, Director, Urgent Action Fund Latin America and the Caribbean

Dessima Williams, former Ambassador of Grenada to the UN


Wagaki Wischnewski, UNCCD

Mariela Puga, Executive Director, Fund for Women from the South

Sakhile Koketso, CBD Secretariat, speaking on a global overview of implementation of ecosystem-based approaches to EbA and DRR

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

The RCP at UNFCCC COP21 convened as ‘Day of Action,’ on 8 December 2015, in Paris, France, hosted by UNDP. The morning opened with a session titled ‘Adapting from the Ground Up: A New Perspective on Private Sector Engagement and Resilience,’ where participants heard keynote speeches from Helen Clark, Administrator, UNDP, and Andrew Steer, President and CEO, World Resources Institute (WRI), which was followed by a panel discussion. The panel addressed, inter alia, the role of micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in agriculture, PPPs, and regional cooperation.

The afternoon began with a session, describing the ‘Pole to Paris’ project. Project leaders and climate change researchers, Erlend Moster Knudsen and Daniel Price, shared their respective journeys, to run from the North Pole, and cycle from the South Pole, respectively. They reunited in Paris, France, on 5 December 2015, to draw attention to call on world leaders to act on climate change at UNFCCC COP21.

In the afternoon, panel sessions took place on: aggregating finance for low-carbon energy; and strengthening climate policies through the UNFCCC’ s reporting tools. The panel session on ‘Aggregating finance for low-carbon energy’ began with keynotes from Helen Clark, and Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson, GEF, and was followed with a discussion regarding a platform created by the UNDP and the GEF to bundle small low-carbon energy projects together to make them more attractive for financing at scale. Participants addressed the role of green bonds, legal regimes needed, associated risk, and resilience and governance issues. The final session of the day discussed the reporting tools available to member states to facilitate the country reporting obligations for the UNFCCC with lessons learned, regarding the process of country reporting, shared by several country examples.

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Polar bears just trying to keep it cool

Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator

Andrew Steer, President and CEO, WRI

Helen Clark, Administrator, UNDP, introduced ‘Adapting from the Ground Up,’ a report produced with WRI

L-R: Daniel Tutu Benefoh, Environmental Protection Agency, Ghana; Ramón Méndez, Ministry of Housing,
Land Planning and Environment, Uruguay; Lea Kai, Ministry of Environment, Lebanon; and, Nguyen Van Anh,
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Viet Nam

Monday, 7 December 2015

The RCP at UNFCCC COP21 convened on Monday, 7 December 2015, addressing issues regarding forest and landscape restoration in reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks (REDD+). In the morning, two panel sessions were held, where participants discussed country approaches to safeguards and safeguard information systems (SIS). 

In these sessions, countries and experts shared progress made in pursuing safeguards, and identified opportunities and persistent challenges in these efforts. They also discussed the development and implementation of SIS, including technical considerations and lessons learned from case study countries conducting this process.

In the afternoon, participants turned towards finance and policy issues, with three panel sessions on: the economic rationale of REDD+; where and how REDD+ can deliver the most benefits; and, innovations in private finance for REDD+.

Noting the importance of considering the economic dimensions of REDD+, participants heard from a panel discussion addressing how these can be underlying drivers to deforestation, and how to understand the economic value of forest ecosystems in the national economy. On how REDD+ can deliver maximum benefits, participants considered ways to assess the potential benefits from REDD+, with examples of cost-benefit analyses (CBA) and mapping exercises being highlighted. The day’s final session assessed the trends and developments in the private finance sector over recent years, and addressed the different mechanisms for obtaining private finance. The session also looked at the roles blended finance, institutional investors, and private financiers are currently playing in the land use space.

REDD+ Day was closed with a reception.

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Mario Alessandro Razzeto, Bosques, Peru, showing participants a virtual reality multimedia tool on the
Peruvian Amazon Forest, jointly developed by UN-REDD, WWF and the Ministry of Environment, Peru.

Novia Widyaningtyas, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Indonesia

Robert Chimambo, Africa Representative, UN-REDD Policy Board


L-R: Pavan Sukhdev, CEO, GIST Advisory, and UNEP Goodwill Ambassador; Maria Kiwanuka, Senior Presidential Advisor, and former Finance Minister, Uganda; and, Ivannia Quesada Villalobos, Vice Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Costa Rica

Saturday, 5 December 2015

The fifth day of the RCP at UNFCCC COP21, took place on Saturday, 5 December 2015, in Paris, France, and was hosted by the GEF. Aiming to highlight the synergies achievable between the three Rio Conventions that GEF serves as a financial mechanism for, the day covered: the GEF Integrated Approach Pilot (IAP) programmes to promote new, innovative ways to tackle drivers of global environmental degradation; the facilitation of synergies across the conventions to further sustainable development; and, civil society engagement with the GEF.

Three sessions were convened. The first was titled ‘Integrated approaches to food security, sustainable cities, and commodity supply chains: tackling major drivers of environmental degradation for mitigation and adaptation at scale.’ Following presentations providing an overview of the IAP, participants heard from three countries - Côte d’Ivoire, Indonesia, and Uganda - on their experiences with IAP projects thus far.

The second session, on ‘Facilitating synergies for sustainable development: multilateral environmental agreements and the GEF,’ highlighted opportunities for promoting collaborative approaches to address the Rio Conventions, with many speakers underscoring that the SDGs are well-placed to be a support mechanism for this.

The penultimate session was a ‘GEF special event: a dialogue between the GEF CEO and civil society organizations (CSOs),’ during which CSOs had the opportunity to pose questions and seek clarification, inter alia, on how to access support from the GEF, the GEF SGP, and how CSOs can enhance networking in the GEF-CSO Network to share best practices.

The day closed with a book launch of, ‘Visions 2100: Stories from Your Future.’ Outlining the need for a positive, optimistic vision of the future to inspire serious environmental and climate change action, the author introduced four contributors who shared their visions for 2100. The launch was followed by a reception.

Visit the full ENB+ coverage for Saturday, 5 December 2015

How many miles would you bike to create energy for a smoothie?

Xueman Wang, World Bank

Bertrand Reysset, International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD)

David McCauley, WWF

Iain Henderson, UNEP


Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chaiperson, GEF

Friday, 4 December 2015

Oceans Day, the fourth day of the RCP at the UNFCCC COP21, convened on Friday, 4 December 2015, in Paris, France. Hosted by the Global Ocean Forum, Oceans Day aimed to advance the climate and ocean agenda by achieving four major objectives: highlighting major climate and ocean issues and their impacts on vulnerable peoples and ecosystems, and suggesting steps forward; fostering political leadership, and moving forward on the major climate and oceans solutions by engaging high-level leaders from around the world; catalyzing and sharing solutions as part of the global portfolio of actions; and, mobilizing collaboration in developing a five-year strategic plan on oceans and climate to guide policy and action.

Six panel sessions were convened, including on: challenges and opportunities in the context of climate and oceans; addressing the effects of climate change on oceans and on coastal and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) populations; mitigation and the oceans; adaptation and financing for adaptation; capacity development, scientific monitoring, and public education; and bringing it all together: a five-year agenda for action.

The high-level segment included addresses from Prince Albert II of Monaco, Mary Robinson, President of the Mary Robinson Foundation, and Ségolène Royal, French Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy.

Two videos were screened. The first was titled ‘The Nature of People,’ which focused on how coastal communities are adapting to a changing climate. The second, titled ‘Moana Rua: The Rising of the Seas,’ aims to explore the human dimension of climate change, using the arts to portray climate change challenges, while stressing the urgency of addressing climate change for Pacific Islanders.

Oceans Day closed with a reception.

Our summary report of Oceans Day at CPOP 21 is available in HTML or PDF format

Visit the full ENB+ coverage for Friday, 4 December 2015

Delegates from Palau

Ronald Jumeau, Ambassador, Climate Change and Small Island Developing State Issues, Seychelles

Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Tommy Remengesau, President, Palau

L-R: Angus Friday, Ambassador of Grenada to the US, and Yuriko Koike, Member, House of Representatives, Japan

Prince Albert II of Monaco

Mary Robinson
, President, Mary Robinson Foundation

Ségolène Royal, Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development
and Energy, France

L-R: Catherine Chabaud, President, Innovation Bleues; Romain Troublé, Secretary General, Tara Expeditions; Angus Friday, Ambassador of Grenada to the US; Ibrahim Thiaw, Deputy Executive Director, UNEP; Irina Bokova, Director-General, UNESCO; John Pundari, Minister for Environment and Conservation and Climate Change, Papua New Guinea; and Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson, GEF

L-R: Ibrahim Thiaw, Deputy Executive Director, UNEP, and Irina Bokova, Director-General, UNESCO

Thursday, 3 December 2015

The third day of the RCP convened on Thursday, 3 December 2015, at the UNFCCC COP21 in Paris, France. It was hosted by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and held under the theme “Day for indigenous peoples and local communities.”

Five sessions took place on: indigenous voices and climate change: outcomes of local-national dialogues; gender-smart climate policy; community innovation in the face of conflict; local actions to strengthen community resilience; and, the contribution of protected areas to climate change mitigation and adaptation. A reception closed the day.

In the morning, the session on indigenous voices focused on national dialogues between indigenous peoples and governments. Participants heard examples of how to integrate indigenous peoples’ perspectives into national climate policies, and within the global climate negotiations.

In the afternoon, the session on gender-responsive climate action shared experiences in climate adaptation, mitigation, finance and technology from a gender perspective. The third session explored efforts to combat climate change in the face of existing conflict, drawing on examples of how the 2015 Equator Prize winners have responded to armed conflict or illegal extractive industries, including conflicts induced or exacerbated by climate change. The fourth session on local climate resilience actions examined the key principles of social-ecological resilience with examples of these principles in practice, presented by Equator Prize winners. The final session explored the contributions that can be made by protected, indigenous and community-conserved areas to address climate change mitigation and adaptation.

In the evening, three of the 21 Equator Prize winners for 2015 briefly presented their experiences. This was followed by a reception.

Visit the full ENB+ coverage for Thursday, 3 December 2015

Tashka Yamanawa, Yamanawa Peoples, Brazil

Delfin Ganapin, GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP)

Charles McNeill, UNDP

L-R: Edward Porokwa, Pastoralist Indigenous Non-Governmental Organizations Forum (PINGO Forum), Tanzania; Kittisak Rattanakrajangsri, Indigenous Peoples' Foundation for Education and Environment, Thailand; Nathalie Flores Gonzales, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Dominican Republic; Filifilia Iosefa, Indigenous Peoples' Delegation of the Pacific, Samoa; and Lola Cabnal, Ak’ Tenamit

Gemechu Berhanu Gemechu, Oromia Pastoralist Association, Ethiopia

Farkhuda Siddiqi, Rural Green Environment Organization, Afghanistan

Maria Leusa Munduruku, Movimento Ipereg Ayu, Brazil

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

The second day of the Rio Conventions Pavilion (RCP) convened on Wednesday, 2 December 2015, at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP21) in Paris, France. It was held under the theme of “Land Day: Land Degradation Neutrality as a Solution to Climate Change.”

Four sessions took place on: ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA); evergreen agriculture and land restoration; ecological rainfall infrastructure; and, desertification, land degradation and climate change.

The session on EbA focused on supporting mechanisms. Participants heard about climate-smart EbA, EbA informing policy making, EbA-driven agriculture in Africa, and incentives for EbA. This was followed by the session on evergreen agriculture and land restoration, where speeches underscored the potential contribution of the land degradation neutrality (LDN) goal to combat climate change. Panelists described aspects of agriculture and land restoration, and agroforestry, highlighting, inter alia, adaptive farming practices and integrated landscape approaches.

The session entitled “Ecological rainfall infrastructure: a new perspective on how forests and trees matter for climate” investigated the linkages between trees, forests and rainfall patterns, and upwind and downwind interactions with rainfall. The day’s penultimate session saw participants watch a video on lessons learned from the international civil society forum Désertif'action, which took place in June 2015 in Montpellier, France. These were followed by short presentations on, inter alia, land degradation and climate change.

A cocktail reception entitled “Pursuing synergies in the implementation of the Rio Conventions in Namibia,” hosted by the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism, closed Land Day at the RCP.

Visit the full ENB+ coverage for Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Rafaelle, a youth protester at the “Espaces Générations Climat” looking for "environmental education
to make change happen."

Dennis Garrity, UNCCD Drylands Ambassador

Ravi Prabhu, Deputy Director General (DDG) Research, ICRAF

Film presentation,"Désertif'action," from the Centre d'actions et de réalisations internationales (CARI) representing civil society

Patrice Burger

Marcos Montoiro, UNCCD Secretariat

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

The Rio Conventions Pavilion (RCP) commenced on Tuesday, 1 December 2015, at the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP21) in Paris, France. It convened under the theme “Biodiversity and Ecosystems: Meeting the Climate Challenge,” hosted by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Secretariat. Seven sessions were held throughout the day followed by a summary of key messages in closing.

In the morning, participants’ addressed synergies between the Rio Conventions - CBD, UNFCCC, and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) - and how they can help address climate change. Participants also discussed the Global Partnership on Forest and Landscape Restoration, achieving land degradation neutrality and the outcomes of the XIV World Forestry Congress, held in September 2015.

The remainder of the sessions took place in the afternoon. On the session regarding forest and landscape restoration in REDD+, participants heard presentations on forest restoration in Brazil and Indonesia, respectively, and on mitigation through enhancing forest carbon stocks. A session on land-based climate mitigation also took place, addressing, inter alia, the contribution of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets’ to land-based climate change mitigation. This was followed by Global Environment Facility (GEF)-organized Leaders’ Dialogue entitled “Cooperation, A Valuable Commodity.”

The following two sessions addressed: afforestation and agricultural conversion of naturally non-forest ecosystems; and experiences on the implementation of ecosystem-based approaches to climate change. Under these session themes, participants heard presentations on: grass biomes; non-forest ecosystems’ potential contributions to climate change mitigation; blue carbon’s role in providing ecosystem services and mitigation; ecosystem-based approaches to climate change mitigation in peatlands; experiences of South Africa and their land-based policies; and drivers of biodiversity loss and incentives for restoration.

Key messages from the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Restoration Day, highlighted during the final session, included the importance of ecosystems in climate change mitigation and adaptation and balancing competing land use pressures for delivery of multiple benefits.

Visit the full ENB+ coverage for Tuesday, 1 December 2015

François Hollande, President of France, visiting the various exhibitions at the “Espaces Générations Climat” at
COP 21 in Paris, France.

L-R: David Cooper, Deputy Executive Secretary, CBD Secretariat; Pyunghwa Yoon, Deputy Director, Korea Forest Service; María Amparo Martínez Arroyo, Director General, National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change (INE), Mexico; and David Ainsworth, CBD Secretariat

María Amparo Martínez Arroyo, Director General, INE, Mexico

Pyunghwa Yoon, Deputy Director, Korea Forest Service

Miguel Calmon, IUCN

Victor Castillo, UNCCD Secretariat

David Cooper, Deputy Executive Secretary, CBD Secretariat

L-R: Marco Albani, Director, Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 (TFA 2020); Michael Jenkins, President and CEO, Forest Trends; Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson, Global Environment Facility (GEF); Rolando de Barros Barreto, Minister of Environment, Paraguay, Marcos Medina Britos, Deputy Minister of Livestock, Paraguay; and Francesco Tramontin, Mondelēz International

Marco Albani, Director, TFA 2020

Michael Jenkins, President and CEO, Forest Trends

Francesco Tramontin, Mondelēz International

Marcel Silvius, Wetlands International

Funding for coverage of RCP has been provided by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)