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COP25 Madrid with Hub Culture and Nexus Global

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14th Dec 2019

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Hub Culture and Nexus Global teamed up for COP25 Madrid to host the Madrid Manor, a place for climate action on the sidelines of the annual UN Climate Summit. The Manor featured dedicated conversations on the state of rainforests, oceans and climate finance.

During the week, the Nexus delegation and Hub Culture also convened conversations inside the COP25, with discussions focused on strategies to maintain the agreed Paris goal of 1.5º target. While environmental issues go far beyond climate change to include biodiversity loss, habitat loss, epigenetic toxicity, plastic proliferation, soil decomposition, oceanic acid levels, poaching, Siberian methane, indigenious survival, conscious capitalism, invasive species, prolific cattle and a list of other ailments, the Paris target does provide a handy reference for coalesing work on protecting people and planet.

At the Manor, discussions on key topic days covered rainforests, oceans, and climate finance:


In the wake of record fires in 2019 and increasing habitat loss, the Manor convened representatives from Rainforest Partnership, Amazon Watch, Pachamama Alliance, Conservation International, the Commonwealth Initiative, and the divestment movement to identify key collaboration points. 

In addition to the ongoing desire for funding and exposure, an initiative to map best expertise between groups, to identity and promote indigenous leaders and leadership, and to use technology to better map destruction came out of the conversation. For the Commonwealth Initiative and areas where tropical forest loss is an issue, the ability to activate local communities and to connect them to funding emerged as a priority.

Climate Finance

Hub Culture's Ultra Reserve initiative provides a resilient funding mechanism for climate finance, the latest tool in a financial services collection that includes Ven and Ultra Carbon.  Ultra Reserve is working on land protection initiatives in old growth forests and riparian waterways to tokenize wilderness and create ongoing financial incentives for forest protection.

The challenges in the Amazon in particular for this kind of work rest on unclear titling of land or community ownership of land, where such projects present more challenges. To solve for this, digital governance tools could be a solution for integrated or transparent project management.


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2019 was called the blue COP for a reason: a growing concern about the health of the planet's oceans underscored much of the negotiations. While the previous years have focused on topics like plastic pollution, coral bleaching or acidification, the looming issue is the imminent vote at the United Nations on deep sea mining, coming up in summer 2020.  Never before have international waters been widely opened up to deep sea mining.

It can cause serious damage to marine ecosystems through scraping, which destroys the seafloor in the hunt for diamonds, rare earth minerals and more. Research is needed on the potential impacts of this activity, including its affect on phytoplankton and other oceanic base nutrients. A coalition of meeting participants, including the World Climate Summit, Grounded, Citizens Climate Lobby, Nexus Global, Oceana and the Ocean Conservancy are exploring ways to highlight the issue and seek consensus on a moratorium or other solutions.

Beyond these major topics, the Manor hosted a number of conversations around the lack of climate action in the face of overwhelming evidence that drastic and sustained action is required. The need for system change requires radical new approaches that can scale, and which support communities and the growth of a global digital middle class.