UNDP Issues Brief on Nature-Based Climate Solutions
The conservation, rehabilitation and climate-informed management of biodiversity and ecosystems increases resilience to climate change and provides low-cost and long-term solutions to protect lives, livelihoods and infrastructure, and advance progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals. Human, economic and social development relies on the health of natural systems. Ecosystems can significantly reduce the impact of floods, catastrophic storms and serious droughts, and can offset vast amounts of the world’s CO2 emissions. It powers industries, provides fresh water supply, food, shelter and reliable sources of incomes. The rate at which current development pathways damage and destroy natural capital, biodiversity and ecosystems is putting Earth’s flora and fauna at risk and is exacerbating climate change impacts across the globe affecting those most vulnerable to climate change. We are fast-losing nature’s capacity to regulate an inhabitable climate and systems that support our life on Earth. Case in point: in 2019, over 4.5 million forest fires worldwide larger than one square kilometer, were registered. Over 90 per cent were caused (either intentionally in the name of development and agri-business, or accidentally) by humans. A vicious cycle is created whereby deforestation increases CO2 emissions, fueling climate change and worsening droughts, which in turn increases the risk of fire.