The UK has launched the implementation of a programme to fund research and innovation to develop bottom-up and locally-led approaches to protecting and restoring natural environments.
The Reversing Environmental Degradation in Africa and Asia (REDAA) programme will tackle the destruction of nature and biodiversity across sub-Saharan Africa, South-East Asia and South Asia. Through in-country research and people-driven action, the programme will support work to improve the condition of natural landscapes and bolster local communities’ resilience.
Institutions based across Africa and Asia can apply for research grants, to research local ecosystems and their links to livelihoods, and develop innovative and appropriate technical approaches for environmental management, conservation and restoration.
The UK has also launched a new Nature Facility, to implement the UK’s commitment to take steps to ensure all new UK bilateral aid spending becomes nature positive. The new Facility will use expert insight to support the FCDO’s development activity to ensure that bilateral aid also supports the protection and restoration of nature.
This builds on the 10 Point Plan on Financing Biodiversity, co-launched by the UK at the UN General Assembly in September, which calls on donor countries to ensure Official Development Assistance (ODA) delivers nature-positive outcomes.
FCDO Minister for Climate and Environment, Lord Zac Goldsmith, said:
Through REDAA and the Nature Facility, we are using our ODA as a catalyst to unlock more public and private finance for nature.
We are beginning to see the commitments made at COP26 translate into actions. Countries, businesses, and financial institutions have begun the journey towards a nature positive economy. The UK is playing our part too.
This announcement comes as REDAA-supported research has found that nature-based solutions, implemented at the local level, are vital for addressing inequality. Effective action to restore nature helps create jobs and enhance income for the poor and vulnerable, with estimations that over 20 million jobs could be generated around the globe by increasing investment in nature-based solutions.
This programme is part of the UK’s commitment to spend £11.6 billion on international climate finance, to tackle the urgent impacts of climate change and support a just transition to environmentally sustainable economies and societies.
The UK’s COP26 Presidency last year emphasised the critical role of nature to achieve goals on both climate change and sustainable development. In 2021, the UK committed £3billion of its international climate finance to support nature and biodiversity.