Natural solutions for climate change - IUCN

28 September 2009 | International news release

Governments meeting in Bangkok at the UN Climate Change talks must recognize that managing nature better helps people adapt to climate change and can actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to IUCN.

“Nature can offer solutions that are available to the rural poor in particular that are cost-effective and sustainable,” says IUCN’s Climate Change Coordinator, Ninni Ikkala. “The potential of forests in reducing emissions is well-known, while for example well-managed mangroves can reduce flood impacts in low-lying coastal areas.”

IUCN is calling on participants at the UN meeting to include ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change in the post-2012 adaptation framework, which should be finalized at the key UN Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen this December.

“Managing and conserving nature can increase resilience and reduce the vulnerability of people to the impacts of climate change,” says IUCN’s Head of Ecosystem Management Programme, Neville Ash. “Governments should promote the inclusion of ecosystem-based adaptation in the Copenhagen agreement.”

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) can be an immediate solution to reducing harmful emissions, and can also provide benefits to local people and biodiversity. IUCN is calling for an equitable and sustainable REDD mechanism to form part of the Copenhagen deal.

“We know how to use REDD, we don’t have to wait for the development of low carbon technologies,” says IUCN’s Director of Environment and Development, Stewart Maginnis. “New science shows it’s more urgent than ever to act now; we can’t wait to start reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

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