ILO and IUCN sign an agreement to harness the interdependence between jobs and nature

The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature  (IUCN) have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to raise awareness on the interdependence between jobs and nature.

The MOU is intended to formalize the already ongoing collaboration between the two organizations to promote and support, among other things, Green Works , the creation of decent jobs through investments in reforestation, soil and water conservation, environmental rehabilitation and climate change adaptation.

It also underlines the importance of “Nature-based Solutions” (NbS), which use nature to address key societal challenges like increasing agricultural productivity and incomes through the use of more sustainable agro-forestry practices or the promotion of urban greening to reduce temperatures in cities.

As many as 1.2 billion jobs rely directly on ecosystems and the services they provide – be it through the provision of food and water, the regulation of the climate system or the control of disease vectors. At the same time, increasingly important activities such as ecosystem restoration have the potential to create many jobs.

“If we are serious about creating decent work for all in line with the Sustainable Development Goals , we must not forget that today’s jobs and tomorrow’s depend on preserving ecosystems and are sensitive to the loss of biodiversity. Simply put, without a healthy planet, there can be no productive economies nor decent work,” said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder.

“In this post-COVID recovery journey, we must avoid investments that are harmful to nature, which means that we must avoid “business as usual”. Moreover, recovery investments should support nature conservation and restoration, while also addressing economic recovery and broader societal challenges”, said IUCN Director-General Bruno Oberle.

The world of work has a critical role to play in shaping human-centred, nature-based solutions that can generate jobs, income, reduce poverty, and restore biodiversity and ecosystems. Both the ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work  and the Global Call to Action for a human-centred recovery from the COVID-19 crisis  underline the environment as one of the key drivers of transformative change in the world of work.

The ILO, the UN agency for the world of work, in partnership with IUCN, the global authority on the status of the natural world and measures to safeguard it, are ideally positioned to lead and support silo-breaking, cross-sectoral and innovative solutions for people and nature.

The strengths of both organizations set forth a path towards a just transition to a future of work that contributes to sustainable development in its economic, social and environmental dimensions.

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