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Climate and biodiversity: easy methods to deal with two crises on the identical time

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The local weather disaster and the lack of biodiversity have to this point gone individually on the political agendas. For the primary time, IPCC and IPBES scientists have determined to hitch forces within the seek for options

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Sequa at Sun Moon Lake in Nantou, TaiwanAnnabelle chihReuters

The local weather disaster and the lack of biodiversity have to this point gone individually on the political agendas. For the primary time, scientists from the IPCC and from IPBES -the two intergovernmental panels dedicated to probably the most urgent environmental issues dealing with the planet- have determined to hitch forces within the seek for options that work on the identical time to cut back emissions and protect ecosystems. “It may be impossible to achieve total synergy between climate and biodiversity actions both on land and in the oceans,” warns the German climatologist. Hans-Otto Prtner, co-chair of the committee that has introduced collectively 50 world specialists within the two fields. “But we have to improve integration and come up with a mix of desirable solutions that cross borders.”

Climatologists and biologists have truly been collaborating for greater than 20 years, however the paths converge greater than ever this 12 months with the celebration of the Biodiversity COP15 in Kunming (from October 12 to 24) adopted by Glasgow COP26 (from November 1 to 12). For a month, the planet’s environmental pendulum oscillates between China and the United Kingdom, beneath the clouds of the pandemic. “The more the planet warms, the greater the threat to nature and the greater the problems for food production or water availability,” warns Hans-Otto Prtner. “Simultaneously, changes in biodiversity affect the climate, especially due to its impact on the cycles of nitrogen, carbon and again water … Everything is interrelated, that is why it is so important to link climate change mitigation actions with protection of ecosystems “.

If I have been to condense the joint options into three, Hans-Otto Prtner It would begin with drastically slicing CO2 emissions (“stopping burning fossil fuels as soon as possible”), vastly growing protected areas on land and sea, and reworking the economic system for extra environment friendly use of pure assets. fourth: the creation of a world governance system to guard world commons, beginning with oceans and first forests. All this additionally taking into consideration the “social dimension”: “We cannot speak of sustainability if we do not tackle problems such as poverty and inequality at the same time.”

Throughout the week, the specialists Intergovernmental Panel of the Camio Climtio (IPCC) and the Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), have explored the factors of convergence and battle and have arrived at this collection of options: Stop deforestation and environmental degradation. The planet misplaced in 2020 a wooded space higher than the United Kingdom, together with 4.2 million hectares of main tropical forests, in line with knowledge from Global Forest Watch. Ending forest logging and curbing the degradation of wetlands, grasslands, savannas, mangroves, salt flats, posidonia or kelp forests may offset emissions of as much as 5.8 gigatons per 12 months.

Create protected areas and enhance conservation

Day by day, solely 15% of the earth’s floor and seven.5% of the oceans are protected. Experts advocate that safety ought to attain 30% to 50%, each on land and at sea. Conservation measures ought to go additional with the creation of corridors for migration, connectivity between pure areas and a greater integration of individuals in nature.

Restore ecosystems

The UN has designated the years 2021-2030 as “the decade of restoration.” The regeneration of ecosystems will not be solely an efficient mitigation and resilience measure, benefiting all species, but additionally an efficient manner of making employment in duties resembling coastal safety, flood prevention, discount of abrasion or enchancment of soil high quality.

Support sustainable agriculture

The elimination of subsidies to intensive agriculture and livestock, the drastic discount in using fertilizers and pesticides, and the help of practices resembling crop diversification, agroforestry or agrocecology may have an equal local weather change mitigating impact. 3 to six gigatons of CO2 per 12 months.

Avoid large-scale bioenergy plantations

Large-scale plantations of oil palms, maize, or rapeseed for the manufacture of biofuels are tremendously damaging of biodiversity, regardless of their relative worth as an alternative choice to fossil fuels (though they could partially fulfill their function for electrical energy manufacturing on a small scale). ).

Avoid reforestation as “monocultures”

Planting bushes in ecosystems that haven’t traditionally been forests, and doing it as monocultures (with non-indigenous and even unique species) can have a mitigating impact on local weather change, however severely have an effect on biodiversity.

Assess the influence of expertise

Experts warn of the necessity to stability dangers and advantages in particular mitigation or adaptation initiatives. In the case of renewable power, assess the influence of mining for “critical materials”, or the occupation of enormous areas on land. Faced with the chance of flooding or rising sea ranges, contemplate the intense impact of dam building on ecosystems.

Create “green infrastructure” in cities

More than half of the world’s inhabitants lives in city areas, the place “green infrastructure” initiatives needs to be launched within the subsequent decade to cushion the “heat island” impact and stop flooding, with the creation of inexperienced roofs, growing of wooded space and vertical farms for native consumption.

“Listen” to the ocean

“Almost all attention to climate change has so far been focused on the mainland,” warns climatologist Hans-Otto Prtner. “The time has come to pay attention to the sea, which occupies the 70% of the globe and performs, among other functions, that of a large CO2 sink. The acidification of the oceans, the degradation of coral reefs, the disappearance of ice, the decrease of plankton, the rise of the waters … Many of the problems and solutions have to do with our relationship with the sea, that has to change drastically in this crucial decade. “

These days dozens of associations will launch a marketing campaign within the type of a worldwide name from the coast of Cornwall, on the event of the G7 summit: “Listen to the sea” (“Listen to the sea”).

According to the factors of

The Trust Project

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