COP26: Professor Nathalie Seddon informing policy

Research shows that further climate warming and biodiversity loss are now unavoidable but that we still have time to make a lasting difference: i.e. to keep warming below dangerous levels, stop further depletion of the diversity of life on Earth and make the world a better and just place for all.

Professor Nathalie Seddon is Professor of Biodiversity at the University of Oxford, Founding Director of the Nature-based Solutions Initiative (NbSI) and co-lead of the Biodiversity and Society Programme at the Oxford Martin School. As an official 'friend' of COP26, she is one of around 30 global experts to advise the UK government on the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). Professor Seddon is the first member of the Departments of Biology to hold this prestigious role.

In 2021 the international community faces a choice: either it collaborates to make a long-lasting difference or it makes one of the largest collective failures in history. The UK, as host of the United National climate conference COP26, has power to ensure that we choose the first path. We can do that by leading by example, getting our own house in order, and inspiring other nations to do the same.

Nature is a major theme within the events and negotiations at COP26, with over 130 countries committing to halt and reverse deforestation & land degradation by 2030, and a surge of pledged funding for Nature-based solutions (NbS).

As well as informing negotiations at COP26, Professor Seddon and the team at Nature-based Solutions Initiative have launched a series of documentaries that explore how working with nature and biodiversity (restoring, connecting and protecting natural habitats) can provide solutions to the causes and consequences of climate change whilst creating jobs, supporting economic recovery and also providing mental and physical health benefits.

The films are led by conversations with local people involved in or affected by the projects including farmers, local businesses and conservation organisations, complemented by interviews with world leading climate scientists and biodiversity experts. Watch the trailer here, and view the documentaries on the NbSI YouTube Channel.

In addition, NbSI have launched three briefings on tackling vulnerability to climate change in Bangladesh and the rural Global South with Nature-based Solutions, a document on ensuring Nature-based Solutions support both biodiversity and climate change adaptation, and a global database of case studies where Nature-based Solutions have been used.

Keep up to date with Professor Seddon's contributions at COP26 by following her on Twitter