New research reveals the major benefits of integrated approaches to climate and nature

Asha Bajaj
5 min readNov 22, 2020

UNEP; Climate change; Deforestation; Nature; biodiversity

London/Canadian-Media: Using new data and novel analytical approaches, research released today by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and partners underscores the size of the prize on offer from integrating action to save nature and combat climate change, UNEP reports said.

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The report, Strengthening synergies: How action to achieve post-2020 global biodiversity conservation targets can contribute to mitigating climate change, finds that conserving 30 percent of land in strategic locations could safeguard 500 gigatonnes of carbon stored in vegetation and soils — around half the world’s vulnerable terrestrial carbon stocks — and reduce the extinction risk of nearly 9 out of 10 threatened terrestrial species.

Launched today at an event convened by the UN-REDD Programme as part of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) Race to Zero Dialogues — specifically on nature’s pivotal role in the fight against the climate crisis — the report shows that coordinating priority areas to conserve both biodiversity and carbon stocks is key to meeting ambitious goals for both nature and climate. It highlights areas where global conservation action can deliver the most to achieve biodiversity goals and mitigate climate change.

Co-authored by the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) and several supporting partners, the research shows that when prioritizing areas for conservation, accounting for biodiversity and carbon together can secure 95 percent of the biodiversity benefits and nearly 80 percent of the carbon stocks that could be obtained by prioritizing either value alone.

The authors highlight the fundamental interconnectedness of climate change and biodiversity loss crises and make the point that more integrated approaches are needed to address them. Actions that capitalize on the contributions of nature, known as nature-based solutions, and are based on inclusive decision-making that recognizes the land rights of indigenous peoples and local communities, are especially crucial to acting effectively to address climate change and biodiversity loss.

Asha Bajaj

I write on national and international Health, Politics, Business, Education, Environment, Biodiversity, Science, First Nations, Humanitarian, gender, women