Climate Change and Biodiversity Loss – solve together or not at all
Climate Change and Biodiversity Loss – Solve together or not at all
ARTICLE · By Lucy Bedry TTF FLEGT Communications Executive · 11 June 2021
The responsibility of human economic activities on biodiversity loss and climate change must be significantly reduced, working towards a system which resolves both environmental issues together. Not only will this have greater impact, but it is also essential, for without the other neither can be solved.
Climate change and biodiversity loss are two of the most urgent issues of our time. The two issues are recognised as interconnected within scientific and policymaking but often addressed within their own domains.
The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service (IPBES) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) held a four-day virtual workshop in December 2020, examining the synergies and trade-offs between biodiversity protection and climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Human economic activities on biodiversity loss and climate change must be significantly reduced, working towards a system that resolves both environmental issues together. Not only will this have a greater impact, but it is also essential, for without the other neither can be solved.
“Only by considering climate and biodiversity as parts of the same complex problem, which also includes the actions and motivations and aspirations of people, can solutions be developed that avoid maladaptation and maximise the beneficial outcomes.”
Reducing deforestation and forest degradation can contribute to lowering annual anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, with emission saving estimates ranging from 0.4 – 5.8 GtCO2e yr. Forests stabilise the climate through ecosystem regulation, protection for biodiversity and their role in the carbon cycle. Increasing and maintaining forests is one of the essential solutions to climate change and one of the best options for building resilience.
Increasing sustainable agriculture and forestry practices was one of the most important conclusions characterised in the report, which presented an array of forty-one conclusions. Other recommendations included: stopping the land and degradation of carbon and species-rich ecosystems on land and in the ocean; and enhancing better-targeting conservation actions, coordinated with, and supported by strong climate adaptation and innovation.
The timber industry should be upheld as one of the most sustainable traded commodity. In addition to being renewable, recyclable and energy-efficient to produce, timber acts as a carbon store – as it grows and stores this after harvest. When embedded with sustainable forest management principles and planning, timber offers three-fold benefits: environmentally, socially and economically.
To ensure that timber contributes to climate change mitigation and preservation against biodiversity loss, forests and the management of these forests need to integrate sustainable principles to all forest commodities. In conjunction, the national governance mechanism needs to be strengthened, creating policies to improve the value of standing forests and reduce the pressure for competing for land use – particularly agriculture and mining.
Tackling Biodiversity & Climate Crises Together and Their Combined Social Impacts – IPBES Media Release
Launch of IPBES-IPCC Co-Sponsored Workshop Report on Biodiversity and Climate Change – Event