The HILAG aims at enhancing commitments to better integrate blue carbon efforts in the ocean-climate-biodiversity nexus at the highest political level. It provides a platform for national governments to engage, communicate and increase ambition to conserve, sustainably use and restore coastal blue carbon ecosystems globally.
THE HIGH-LEVEL AMBITION GROUP ON BLUE CARBON
In 2022, the world witnessed a pivotal shift in the fight against climate change and the preservation of our oceans. Key international events such as the One Ocean Summit in Brest, France, the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal, the UNFCCC COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt and the CBD COP15 in Montreal, Canada underscored the importance of ocean and coastal blue carbon action.
These ecosystems, known as “”blue carbon ecosystems“”, which include mangroves, seagrasses and tidal marshes, play a pivotal role in climate change mitigation, adaptation, biodiversity preservation, socio-economic benefits, and the resilience of coastal communities.
In Montreal, an unprecedented commitment was made by parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to protect at least 30% of the world’s seas and restore 30% of degraded ecosystems by 2030. To achieve this ambitious goal, swift action and empowering countries with the necessary tools are critical.
In line with the 2030 Agenda, embracing blue carbon is not only an environmental imperative but a political pledge towards paving the way for a more sustainable world by 2030 and beyond. To accelerate progress towards meeting the 2030 Agenda, France has launched the High Level Ambition Group (HILAG) on Blue Carbon, within the framework of the International Partnership on Blue Carbon at the Brest One Ocean Summit in February 2022.
The High Level Ambition Group (HILAG) is set to complement the ongoing efforts of the International Partnership for Blue Carbon (IPBC). HILAG is a platform for high-level government representatives to express their ambitions and commitments to current and future initiatives aimed at protecting, restoring and preserving blue carbon ecosystems. It aims to unite global support for blue carbon, initiate new projects, and ensure the highest social and environmental standards are met.
HILAG’s mission is to enhance commitments at the highest political level, fostering the integration of blue carbon efforts in the ocean-climate-biodiversity nexus. It provides a platform for national governments to engage, communicate, and raise their ambitions for the conservation, sustainable use, and restoration of coastal blue carbon ecosystems on a global scale.
HILAG focuses on four lines of action
- Drive and scale countries’ high-level international commitments and investments in blue carbon actions.
- Facilitate alignment and collaboration between high-level commitments globally.
- Establish the policy, science and finance conditions for high-quality blue carbon actions worldwide.
- Develop innovative public-private finance approaches to accelerate blue carbon project development and showcase best practices.
Definition of ambition
HILAG members commit to increasing their determination for the conservation, sustainable use, and restoration of coastal blue carbon ecosystems. Ambitions may include improving regulations, conservation projects, innovative finance mechanisms, investment in blue carbon science, reduction of pollution, increasing awareness engaging local communities and improving NDC recognition and finance.