Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and COP28 President-Designate, delivered a significant address at the Amazon Summit and Collaboration for Sustainable Development, urging global leaders to leverage the commitment of President Lula da Silva and ignite transformative progress on nature during COP28.
The event, held in Belém, Brazil, brought together leaders from various regions and nations to deliberate on strategies for advancing sustainable development and safeguarding forest resources. Attended by member states of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organisation (ACTO), the summit unfolded on August 8-9.
Dr. Al Jaber asserted, “You are the guardians of a vital and delicate ecosystem that sustains life, lives, and livelihoods, not only for the peoples of the Amazon region but for the planet we all share.”
Praising President Lula for his resolute advocacy of policies that prioritize Indigenous Peoples and serve as a model for other regions, Dr. Al Jaber highlighted the opportunity to establish a meaningful connection between COP28 and COP30, engaging with leaders in Brazil, which will host COP30.
“We will build on the experience and the lessons that the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organisation and Indigenous Peoples can teach us in advancing the dual goal of protecting and restoring nature, while advancing sustainable development,” he affirmed.
Dr. Al Jaber emphasized the centrality of Indigenous rights in their approach to nature, noting that Indigenous communities, though comprising only five percent of the global population, safeguard over 80 percent of the world’s biodiversity.
A day prior to the summit, Dr. Al Jaber engaged with Brazil’s Minister of Indigenous Peoples, Sonia Guajajara, and representatives of Indigenous leaders from the Amazon.
The need for a shift in climate finance to achieve transformational progress was underscored by Dr. Al Jaber. He affirmed the importance of delivering on the overdue pledge of US$100 billion by donor countries and allocating a portion of the funds to nature and forest protection. Reforms in international finance institutions and multilateral development banks were identified as pivotal to unlocking concessional finance and attracting private investment.
Moreover, Dr. Al Jaber urged parties to align with the Kunming-Montreal Biodiversity Framework signed in 2022, which targets the protection of 30 percent of nature by 2030. He emphasized the need to allocate resources for initiatives to restore degraded agricultural land, support sustainable farming, and preserve coastal areas, marine life, and freshwater ecosystems.
Sustainable agricultural development, harmonizing food security with nature conservation, was lauded as a crucial endeavor, particularly commending Brazil’s efforts as a prominent global food producer.
Razan Al Mubarak, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28, emphasized the intertwined nature of addressing climate change and biodiversity loss. She stressed the importance of investing in nature as a cost-effective solution for climate mitigation and adaptation. Al Mubarak called for greater inclusion and support for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLCs) in shaping collective climate and nature strategies.
Dr. Al Jaber also engaged in high-level discussions with world leaders during his visit to Brazil, focusing on COP28’s energy transition agenda. Meetings included President Luis Arce of Bolivia, President Gustavo Petro of Colombia, President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Prime Minister Mark Phillips of Guyana. Additional bilateral meetings with Brazilian officials and industry leaders underscored the pursuit of sustainable solutions and global cooperation.