Razan Al Mubarak on Biodiversity and Climate Solutions: A Call to Action on International Day for Biological Diversity

On the International Day for Biological Diversity, Razan Al Mubarak, IUCN President and UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28, emphasized the interconnectedness of biodiversity and climate change in her recent editorial in The National. Highlighting the critical role of ecosystems in providing essential services, from pollination and water filtration to carbon storage, she calls for urgent global action to address the threats these systems face from human activity.

Ms. Al Mubarak points to the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, where nations committed to protecting 30% of their land and seas by 2030, as a key example of the international effort required to reverse biodiversity loss. She stresses the importance of aligning this with climate strategies under the frameworks of both the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The UAE Consensus, agreed to by all nations at COP28, serves as a significant milestone, with commitments to halt deforestation by 2030 and pledges totaling $2.7 billion to fund nature protection efforts. Ms. Al Mubarak underlines the role of countries like the UAE, which has committed $100 million to forest preservation, in leading by example.

The editorial also recognizes the indispensable contributions of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in conserving biodiversity, advocating for their continued involvement and acknowledgment in global environmental governance.

As the world approaches more critical meetings like COP29 and COP16, Ms. Al Mubarak calls for sustained political will, inclusive engagement, and robust financial support to implement the agreed-upon actions effectively. Her message is clear: on this International Day for Biological Diversity, everyone must be part of the plan to ensure a sustainable and resilient future.

Link to the editorial

Watch Razan Al Mubarak's Address at the Brazil Climate Investment Summit

Razan Al Mubarak, President of the IUCN and UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28, shared a recorded message with participants at the inaugural Brazil Climate Investment Summit. Her remarks underscored the urgent need to accelerate investment in nature-based solutions (NbS) to address the interconnected crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.

In her address, Ms. Al Mubarak emphasized the precedent set at COP28 for integrating nature into climate action, particularly through the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework and the UAE Consensus. She highlighted the potential of nature-based solutions to create over 390 million jobs by 2030 and unlock $10.1 trillion in business opportunities. However, she cautioned that investments in nature must be both sufficient and equitable, ensuring that funds reach the communities most impacted.

Ms. Al Mubarak called for a collaborative effort to build a sustainable pipeline of Nature-based Solutions projects aligned with regional development priorities. She conveyed optimism that with unified action, we can secure a sustainable and just future for people and the planet.

Watch her full message here.

Watch Razan Al Mubarak’s Call to Action on the International Day for Biological Diversity

In recognition of the International Day for Biological Diversity, Razan Al Mubarak delivered a powerful message underscoring the importance of global collaboration to protect our planet's biodiversity. As President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28, she highlighted the significance of the day's theme, "Be Part of the Plan," as a call to action for everyone to contribute to safeguarding nature.

Ms. Al Mubarak emphasized the ambitious goals of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, which aims to protect 30% of the world's land and marine ecosystems. She also pointed to the UAE Consensus and the Joint Declaration for Climate, Nature, and People, forged at COP28, to stress the intrinsic connection between climate goals and the health of global ecosystems. She explained that achieving climate aspirations is impossible without conserving our planet’s natural world.

In her remarks, she urged governments, businesses, civil societies, and individuals to embrace the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework and the UAE Consensus as guiding principles. She called for integrating biodiversity conservation into climate strategies, acknowledging that protecting nature is essential to addressing climate change.

Razan Al Mubarak’s closing message was one of hope and determination: in unity lies strength. By coming together as part of a global plan, she believes we can create a sustainable and equitable future for all.

Watch her full message here.

Razan Al Mubarak Chairs the 111th IUCN Council Meeting

This week, Razan Al Mubarak, President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), is leading the 111th IUCN Council Meeting in Gland, Switzerland. The meeting focuses on critical strategic initiatives that will shape the future of conservation efforts globally.

In collaboration with IUCN members, the council is discussing the IUCN’s 20-year strategic vision, which addresses the increasing challenges in biodiversity and climate change. This vision highlights the necessity of escalating conservation efforts to combat the potential overshoot of the 1.5°C target set by the Paris Agreement. Additionally, the meeting includes the review of IUCN’s draft program for 2026-2029, which will undergo several iterations with input from IUCN members, aiming to finalize and approve it at the upcoming IUCN 2025 World Conservation Congress in Abu Dhabi.

Razan Al Mubarak, who also serves as the Managing Director of the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi, emphasized the critical role of nature-based solutions in addressing major environmental threats. These solutions, which include reversing deforestation and restoring ecosystems, are pivotal for achieving conservation and sustainable development objectives.

The meeting also prepares for the IUCN’s participation in key global events later this year, including the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity, the 2024 UN Climate Change Conference (COP29), and COP16 of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.

Under MS. Al Mubarak’s leadership, the IUCN continues to advocate for holistic environmental governance, integrating biodiversity and nature conservation into broader climate action strategies. This approach was strongly supported during COP28, where significant commitments were made, including halting deforestation by 2030 and allocating substantial funds to protect forest and coastal ecosystems.

The outcomes of the 111th Council Meeting are expected to significantly influence conservation strategies and policies globally, reinforcing IUCN’s role in fostering a sustainable future.

Razan Al Mubarak Delivers Inspiring Speech at the Inaugural World Species Congress

During the inaugural World Species Congress, Razan Al Mubarak, President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), delivered an inspiring address to a global audience of policymakers, scientists, and conservationists. She underscored the significance of uniting to tackle biodiversity loss through the ambitious Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.

Ms. Al Mubarak emphasized the Species Survival Commission’s remarkable initiatives that focus on reintroducing species into their native habitats, restoring degraded ecosystems, and advancing sustainable use practices. These initiatives play an essential role in achieving the Global Biodiversity Framework targets while aligning with the Paris Agreement's climate action goals.

Recent environmental governance milestones she highlighted included:

  • The unanimous adoption of the Global Biodiversity Framework
  • The landmark agreement on the High Seas Treaty
  • Key commitments at COP28, including halting deforestation by 2030 and pledging $2.7 billion to conserve forests and coastal ecosystems

Ms. Al Mubarak reaffirmed IUCN's steadfast commitment to amplifying these global agreements. She emphasized that conservation efforts are not limited to protected areas but must be embedded into broader national and international policies to have a lasting impact.

The upcoming Rio Conventions, IUCN Regional Conservation Forums, and the Species Survival Commission Leader's Meeting in Abu Dhabi offer critical opportunities to refine strategies and strengthen global responses to biodiversity and climate challenges.

In her closing remarks, she invited everyone to the IUCN 2025 World Conservation Congress in Abu Dhabi to celebrate progress and continue the collaborative journey toward a world living in harmony with nature.

Razan Al Mubarak and Joseph Nganga Highlight Global Impact of Clean Cooking

In their recent editorial published in Project Syndicate, Razan Al Mubarak, President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and Joseph Nganga, Interim CEO of the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet, discuss the transformative power of clean cooking technologies. With the IEA’s Africa Clean Cooking Summit in Paris concluded in May 2024, their insights were particularly pertinent.

The narrative centers on Florence Auma Ode from Kenya, who significantly improved her family’s health and economic status by adopting a bioethanol stove. This change underscores the broader benefits of clean cooking solutions, which are crucial yet often underappreciated in global climate discussions.

The editorial emphasizes that while clean cooking can drastically reduce global carbon emissions and help combat deforestation, 2.4 billion people still rely on traditional cooking methods which are harmful on many different levels. This situation calls for a robust global response involving innovative financing and societal changes, especially to empower women and girls who bear the brunt of these challenges.

Ms. Al Mubarak and Mr Joseph Nganga also highlight successful initiatives like the School Meals Coalition in Kenya, which enhances clean cooking access while supporting local economies and reducing emissions. They urge global leaders to commit significant resources, proposing an annual investment of $8 billion to achieve universal clean cooking access by 2030.

This call to action aims to prioritize clean cooking in international climate finance strategies, underscoring its essential role in a comprehensive approach to climate change mitigation.