Walking the talk of climate ambition – why that walk needs nature too: Make Change Happen podcast episode 14

Article, 01 November 2021

In this episode of Make Change Happen, we learn why it is important to include nature in Nationally Determined Contributions and how to increase ambition and actions for nature and climate to address the crises of climate change, nature loss and rising inequalities.



IIED’s ‘Make Change Happen’ podcast provides an opportunity to hear our researchers and guests discuss key global development challenges and explain what we are doing to support positive change. 

In this episode, we hear experts discuss the connections between the climate emergency, loss of biodiversity and rising inequalities, and why it is important to include nature in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to address these crises globally.

Hosted by Liz Carlile, this podcast features Nathalie Seddon, IIED associate, professor of biodiversity and director of the Nature Based Solutions initiative at the University of Oxford, which IIED is a partner of; Bob Natifu, acting commissioner on climate change in the Ministry of Water and Environment in Uganda; Maria Caballero Espejo, climate adaptation specialist from the Ministry of Environment of Peru (website in Spanish); Sarshen Scorgie, director of climate strategy at Conservation South Africa; and Harriet Drani, programme officer at IUCN in Uganda.

It’s about climate and nature

Countries that signed the Paris Agreement on climate change are required to outline and communicate their climate actions in NDCs. These are non-binding national plans that form the basis for countries to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

However, as Nathalie Seddon argues in this episode, we cannot meet our climate goals unless we work with nature. “We need to massively scale up the restoration, connection and protection of our natural and semi-natural ecosystems, not only land but also in the sea,” she explains. And the poorest nations are leading the way in working with nature to tackle climate change.

In this podcast our guests share why and how developing countries are incorporating nature-based solutions (NbS) in their NDCs to increase and deliver their climate ambitions.

Bob Natifu highlights how NbS (like conservation of forests and wetlands) are low-hanging fruits and essential for Uganda to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Harriet Drani shares how Indigenous Peoples’ knowledge can inform how NbS can be implemented to help deliver Uganda’s climate ambitions.

Both Sarshen Scorgie and Maria Caballero Espejo discuss how NbS is not only important for tackling climate change but can also deliver multiple social, environmental and economic benefits comparing to other strategies. Espejo also shares how a participatory approach for developing NDCs can help incorporate Indigenous Peoples’ knowledge on working with nature and catalyse wide societal support for both mitigation and adaptation actions including NbS.

For this year’s COP26 and COP15 to be successful, countries must mobilise finance and put in place the right finance mechanisms that can channel money to where it matters to support integrated approaches to address mitigation and adaptation together. All guests highlight their hopes and suggestions to make us all walk the talk of climate ambition in COP26 and beyond.

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How to listen and subscribe 

The ‘Make Change Happen’ podcast provides informal insights into IIED’s work to create positive change and make the complex issues we face more accessible to wider audiences. The title refers to IIED’s 2019-2024 strategy, which sets out how IIED plans to respond to the critical challenges of our time. 

You can subscribe to the podcast on your favourite podcast app as follows:

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