Urban Nature Program Unveiled at COP28: Paving the way for Nature-Positive Cities

27 February 2024

Amidst of the 28th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28) in Dubai the Urban Nature Program, launched at the event themed "Nurturing Nature: Bringing Nature-Positive Cities to the Forefront of Urban Climate Action". In a collaborative effort, leading organisations such as the World Bank's Global Platform for Sustainable Cities, UN Environment Program (UNEP), ICLEI and a consortium including World Resources Institute, International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), C40 Cities, among others, spearheaded this initiative. At its core, the Urban Nature Program champions Nature Positive Development in urban areas and regions. It aims to achieve this through three key strategies:

  1. Upstream Policy Support: This involves fostering collaboration among cities, facilitating knowledge sharing, and leveraging global expertise to advance policies promoting nature-positive urban development.

  2. Midstream Project Preparation Support: The program commits to providing practical assistance for project development, ensuring these projects are attractive to both international and domestic financial institutions as well as private sector investors.

  3. Downstream Investment: By encouraging Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and financial institutions to invest in nature-positive development initiatives, the program aims to direct substantial investments toward sustainable urban projects.

The Urban Nature Program's launch signals a pivotal moment in the quest for sustainable urbanisation. By spotlighting Lighthouse Cities as examples, this initiative intends to inspire a global shift towards environmentally conscious urban development. This ambitious program underscores the critical need for cities to embrace nature-centric strategies, laying the groundwork for resilient, sustainable urban landscapes. Its implications extend far beyond the conference walls, heralding a promising future where cities harmonise with nature for the well-being of present and future generations.