Twenty years ago, the Convention on Biological Diversity and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change stood apart from each other, seemingly addressing different goals.
But now we understand the critical importance of biodiversity for increasing climate ambition:
- Securing land rights for indigenous peoples and local communities results in high levels of protection for biodiverse primary forest – equal or greater in protection impact to the designation of national parks and other formal nature conservation areas.
- More carbon will be sequestered by focusing forest restoration efforts around core primary forest areas – buffering and reconnecting ecosystems to build resilience and enhance biodiversity.
- Restoring degraded natural forests – not replacing such forests with monoculture tree plantations – results in a double-win for biodiversity and long-lived carbon storage.
- Improving forest management with enhanced biodiversity as a management objective.
The Paris Agreement is an important step in overcoming the ‘two track divide’ between biodiversity and climate. It encourages holistic approaches to climate mitigation and adaptation, ecosystem integrity and community development. The Paris Agreement formally recognizes the need for climate actions that protect human rights and respect the rights of indigenous peoples.
But not all climate actions are necessarily good for biodiversity. Large-scale geo-engineering projects that change atmospheric or ocean chemistry, and biomass burning based on flawed carbon accounting rules, threaten ecosystem integrity.
CLARA members are active promoting responses to climate change that conserve and enhance natural forests to increase biodiversity. CLARA members are also active responding to climate-engineering actions that threaten ecosystem integrity.
CLARA member links: