19 Jun 2014

Addressing climate change: why biodiversity matters

By Shaun Hurrell

There are obvious interconnections between climate change and biodiversity. However within projects, the possible mutual benefits between climate change adaptation and mitigation with biodiversity conservation are often not recognised and addressed. Likewise, the potential negative impacts of climate change projects on biodiversity and ecosystem services are often neglected.

Therefore, a brief for policy decision called Addressing climate change: Why biodiversity matters has been developed. It highlights the importance of considering biodiversity within climate change policies, programmes and projects, and presents opportunities to realise synergies.

The team of authors is comprised of scientists and practitioners at BirdLife International, United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) and The German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (Bundesamt für Naturschutz – BfN).

Biodiversity loss and the degradation of ecosystems undermine the supply of ecosystem services that are vital for us to mitigate and adapt to climate change.  This document provides information on how decision-makers can assess impacts and put in place measures to avoid this.

The document also outlines ways which biodiversity can be enhanced without jeopardising climate change mitigation or adaptation objectives.

By identifying a problem, clearly identifying a solution and producing a clear, concise brief for decision-makers to utilise, our policy and science teams are helping to ensure the world can meet international targets for biodiversity and climate change most efficiently and supportively.

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The brief has been informed by a 2.5 year research and development project on biodiversity criteria for the design, selection and evaluation of climate change adaptation and natural carbon sinks/REDD+ projects in forests and wetlands under the German International Climate Initiative (IKI). The Technical Report can be downloaded here.