International Nature

29th September 2022
Author: Louise Oakley

Climate Change, Economics and Finance, Environment, Rural Development, Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable Development Goals

11.  Sustainable Cities and Communities, 13.  Climate Action, 14.  Life Below Water, 15.  Life on Land, 17.  Partnerships to achieve the Goals

This learning package is drawn from the K4D International Nature Learning Journey. The learning journey was developed to support FCDO and other government departments’ understanding, capacity and influence related to nature, particularly in the run-up to COP26, hosted by the United Kingdom in 2022.

Nature plays a vital role in providing resources and services for human health and wellbeing, livelihoods, economy, climate regulation, global nutrition and food security, water quality and provision, and healthy biodiverse ecosystems.

Humans derive approximately USD $125 trillion of value from ecosystems each year. More than half of the world’s GDP (USD $44 trillion) is highly or moderately dependent on nature. Around one third of jobs in developing countries are directly dependent on biodiversity and ecosystem services, and rural and indigenous people and local communities are particularly dependent on nature for their livelihoods. Agriculture, forest loss, and land-use contribute 23% of global greenhouse gas emissions, but our land and coastal marine ecosystems could provide up to a third of cost-effective climate mitigation.

This learning package offers five key topics, with videos of expert speakers, case studies to provide practical illustrations, and recommended reading.

  1. Our relationship with nature

The interrelationship/integration between biodiversity, ecosystems, ecosystem services, human activity, and climate change is highly complex and mutually reinforcing. Human activity is driving ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss in combination with climate change.

  1. The dynamics of deforestation: drivers, nature, interventions and challenges

Deforestation can be considered through four interconnected lenses:

  • the role of forests/deforestation in climate change (including emissions, mitigation and resilience)
  • the links between forests and freshwater ecosystems
  • global production
  • local needs, poverty and development

The drivers of ecosystem degradation (for example, population growth, lifestyle changes, etc.), human activity (as both a cause and response to ecosystem degradation), and climate change interact with each other. Nature interventions which can offer a solution are explored in this session.  

  1. Agriculture, ecosystems, and sustainable land use

Agriculture for both food and commodity production can have significant negative ecosystem impacts. A key challenge is how to tackle the impacts of agriculture, whilst ensuring food security and fostering growth. The drivers of ecosystem degradation (e.g. population growth, lifestyle changes etc.), human activity (as both a cause and response to ecosystem degradation), and climate change interact and interconnect. Nature interventions which can offer a solution are explored in this session.  

  1. Oceans and marine ecosystems: challenges, drivers, and solutions

Healthy oceans, marine and coastal ecosystems provide a number of ecosystem services including climate change mitigation and play a key role in livelihoods and economic activities. Biodiversity loss, degradation and climate change are key threats for these ecosystems. Sustainable use of marine and coastal ecosystems is a key priority for the Convention on Biological Diversity’s post 2020 Biodiversity Framework. Conservation, protection and restoration interventions can deliver benefits for people, Nature and climate change mitigation and adaptation.

  1. Increasing financial flows and the role of finance in sustaining nature

The global financial system enables a number of activities and trends that undermine Nature. However, it can also be put to work to protect/conserve/restore nature. Some of the financial instruments that can increase finance for Nature interventions and Natured-based Solutions (NbS) are considered in this session.


The resources below have been selected due to their relevance to the learning package. Explore them to strengthen your understanding of international nature.

Continents, regions and countries