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COP28 attendees learn about the power of plants

The Canadian Nursery Landscape Association (CNLA) invited AIPH to join them as observers in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process. AIPH is a champion for the power of plants and aims to develop an international standard for green cities, and our attendance was to learn and advocate for our members.

“The commitment to plants as a solution to climate challenges was evident throughout the 10 days of COP28,” said Phil Paxton from the Canadian Ornamental Horticulture Alliance (COHA). “What was particularly interesting was the broad-based acceptance of nature-based solutions.”

Dr Audrey Timm, AIPH Technical Initiative Manager, joined a panel presentation led by COHA at COP28, ‘Ornamental horticulture solutions that contribute to the resilience of the rural and urban environment,’ on 2 December among a day of events in Dubai, UAE, organised by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), which followed with a Q&A moderated by Todd Lewis from the Canadian Federation of Agriculture.

“It was encouraging to hear from many that our presentation was well-received and that we were able to have had a direct impact now on at least a few individuals,” said Alan White, Chair of the CNLA’s Climate Change Adaptation Committee, who was also among the panellists in the COHA presentation.

“Our perspective on the uniqueness of what plants, biodiversity protection, and support for life in urban and rural environments bring to the carbon conversation underscores the importance of our sector in the larger climate discourse,” said White.

White noted that he was approached by an attendee of the presentation afterwards, who expressed a newfound awareness of the role of plants and nature-based solutions in an urban environment and its population.

“Through engagements such as COP28 and various high-level conferences, it’s increasingly apparent that the profound impact of plants remains widely underestimated,” said CNLA President Bill Hardy.

“‘Plants do that?’ is a recurring question that underscores the lack of recognition of their pivotal role,” Hardy continued. “As an industry, we bear a growing responsibility to educate a broader audience. The days of viewing plants solely for ornamentation are behind us. Moving forward, our focus must centre on embracing the vital significance of environmental horticulture.”

Rachel Wakefield

Communications Executive and Associate Editor
United Kingdom