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Portrait of Razan al Mubarak

Dear Friends,

I am honored to write with news of two exciting developments that, I am hopeful, will facilitate our efforts to give equal priority to addressing the twin existential crises of our time: biodiversity loss and climate change. 

Just two weeks ago, I was named UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for the leadership team of COP28 UAE, which will take place in Expo City, Dubai from November 30 to December 12, 2023. This is a key moment for us to work with the non-state actors’ community, including civil society, private sector, indigenous people, and youth across the global south and north to scale up advocacy on the nature-climate nexus. We are facing a whole-of-world challenge that needs a whole-of-society response and without nature we will not be able to achieve the 1.5°C target.

It is a key priority of mine to ensure that the biodiversity crisis is understood as having equal importance as the climate crisis. I am confident my roles as Climate Change High-Level Champion and President of IUCN uniquely prioritize these inextricably interconnected goals. 

To that end, on January 15, members of the IUCN Council and staff of IUCN Secretariat and its various advisory groups – numbering close to 100 people in total – began arriving for the IUCN Council Meeting in Abu Dhabi. I am so proud that Abu Dhabi has prioritized nature and species conservation internationally, both through its sponsorships of events like this, and by leading important national and global initiatives to conserve Oryx, Houbara, and a myriad of threatened species. I look forward to updating you soon on the progress and achievements of our proceedings for this first council meeting of 2023. 

Before 2023 kicks into high gear, I also wanted to take an opportunity to reflect with you on key milestones from last year. I plan on sharing more periodic updates with you through this newsletter. If you wish to share anything with me, you can simply reply to this email — I’d be delighted to hear from you!  

I look forward to working with many of you and wish you all a safe and prosperous year as we come together to protect nature and the planet.


Razan Al Mubarak
UN Climate Change High-Level Champion, COP28
President, IUCN

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