Technology to address Climate Change has to be nature based, says RCF panel

29 September 2011 | News story


Nature has to be at the centre for all considerations, stressed a high level panel at the 5th Asia Regional Conservation Forum (RCF) in Incheon. Showcasing examples from projects and policy in Pakistan, India and Korea, the panelists highlighted the importance of nature-based solutions to work towards a long term strategy in mitigating greenhouse gases and addressing the multiple complexities of climate change.

“Technology can never be a solution to climate change on its own. Efficient technologies can also increase GHG emissions. However there are many other good reasons to be energy efficient. That’s why nature-based solutions should be at the centre of a long term strategy of climate compatible development complemented by technology solutions”, Dr Kinsuk Mitra from Winrock International India elaborated at the panel discussion.

A look at anything from societal problems to local solution proves that options such as restoration of mangroves or sustainable wetlands management meets adaptation and development targets at the same time, discussed the panel. However, they opined, policy agendas are not harmonized and too complicated to be efficient in effectively base solutions on nature. One of the examples can be the CDM compliant concepts, such as ‘blue carbon’. Blue carbon stands for the high carbon storage capacity of wetlands and other water related ecosystems and was introduced by IUCN. But it can hardly be implemented at the moment and local stakeholders lack the capacity to deal with the registration requirements.    

The panelists further opined that IUCN as a global institution of scientific repute is in a position to address both policy gaps in the international climate architecture and the promotion of nature-based solutions to climate change. Highlight the policy relevance of subject, Mr Malik Amin Aslam, former environment minister of Pakistan suggested that IUCN should establish a new commission dedicated to climate change. 

Apart from Dr Mitra and Mr Aslam, the panel also included Ms Fathimah Shafeega of Live & Learn Environmental Initiatives, Maldives; Professor Eun-Shik Kim, Kookmin University, Seoul.