Save nature to fight climate change and reduce poverty
02 December 2008 | News story
Rising sea levels, violent storms, melting glaciers, droughts and floods – all caused by global warming – will spell misery for millions of people, as they lose their homes, food and drinking water.
The world’s poorest people, and rural communities in particular, will be affected the most, especially those living in vulnerable ecosystems, such as low-lying islands or arid areas. However, there is an answer – using what nature has already provided to help guard against these threats. IUCN urges States here at Poznan to make sure nature-based solutions to climate change are considered as a matter of urgency.
“If we save nature we not only help reduce carbon emissions, we also help vulnerable people,” says Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN Director General. “We depend on healthy ecosystems for our very existence. Without them, we would die. It’s time to wake up and make sure we give people and nature the respect they deserve.”
IUCN hopes to see the roadblocks to a meaningful agreement on fighting climate change cast aside, especially given the recent US election outcome. Climate change is already affecting people and nature. There is an urgent need to reach agreement on an international climate change framework by 2009, in preparation for the end of the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012.
At the last UN summit in Bali, the negotiations reached a deadlock, crystallizing the debate on the issue of equity between developed and developing countries. Success in Poznan is key to reaching the agreement the world needs in Copenhagen next year.
- Protecting forests to combat climate change. Forests can help store carbon and lead to a reduction in greenhouse gases, helping to cool our planet. They are also important for conserving species and providing livelihoods for natural resource dependent local communities.
- Equity between the North and South. Developed countries must recognize the damage they have done to the global environment through greenhouse gas emissions. They must support developing countries to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
- Nature is our best ally in the face of climate change. Healthy environments provide means for people to make a living , store carbon and other greenhouse gases, and can reduce the impacts of climate change-related natural hazards, such as increased flooding, higher temperatures and rising sea levels.
EVENTS AND MATERIALS FOR MEDIA:
- Monday, Dec 8, 19:30: Media drinks reception
- Monday, Dec 8, 10:00: Press Conference on gender
- Wednesday, Dec 10, 10:00: Press Conference on corals and climate change.
- Thursday, Dec 11, time TBC: IUCN Photo opportunity
- Friday, Dec 12: Closing Press Statement.
- All media material available at www.iucn.org/unfccc
Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN Director General, Stewart Maginnis, IUCN Forest Programme, Neville Ash, IUCN Ecosystem Management Programme, Ninni Ikkala, IUCN Climate Change Officer.
IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges by supporting scientific research; managing field projects all over the world; and bringing governments, NGOs, the UN, international conventions and companies together to develop policy, laws and best practice. www.iucn.org