The summit is designed to mobilize the climate action needed to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals. One key area of interest is nature-based solutions, which can provide at least a third of the action required by 2030 to keep global temperature rise below 2°C. Join WCS scientists as they talk about the big ideas to take on the big challenges.
Forests for Life
As the planet continues to warm and wildlife species vanish at an unprecedented rate, five leading environmental organizations have come together to target the world’s greatest undervalued and unprotected solution to the climate and extinction crises—forests.
The 5 Great Forests Initiative
Together with our partners, we've launched a new project aimed at conserving these critical landscapes in Mesoamerica. Five million people depend on the five great forests. They keep half of the region's carbon stores locked away. But we're losing them. Among other things, the initiative aims to preserve over 24 million acres (10 million hectares) of land.
Jeremy Radachowsky & Chris Jordan for Mongabay Mesoamerica’s forests are literally on fire. The region’s governments, Indigenous Peoples, civil society, and the broader conservation community now commit to protect them.
Emily Darling for Oceanographic With our planet changing faster than ever, we have to think big and act fast. Limiting global warming to 1.5°C is critical for the survival of coral reefs and for our own survival.
Michael Painter, David Wilkie, & James Watson for Scientific American Evidence shows that many of nature’s remaining strongholds have maintained high natural values precisely because of the stewardship of local people over generations.
Intact Forests Are Key to Addressing Global Climate Crisis
“We face an urgent challenge to ensure the world’s great intact forests are a priority for meeting global climate, biodiversity, and sustainable development targets,” says WCS President and CEO Cristian Samper.
To celebrate and endorse nature’s role as a climate solution, WCS is working with partners, including the Nature4Climate coalition, to present four days of programming that showcase this function in policy, in practice, and in communities. Here are some of the events WCS is involved in.
Sept. 22, 9–10am A conversation focused on addressing the drivers of deforestation in Mesoamerica, especially illegal cattle ranching, on improving forest governance by strengthening management of protected areas, community forests, and improving livelihoods with forest-friendly and climate resilient economic alternatives.
Sept. 22, 11:30am–12:30pm For storing carbon, the condition and health of a forest may be just as important as its size. But we have blind spots in the way we measure and manage forests. Join us as we discuss the climate costs of unseen forest degradation.
Sept. 25, 9–10am There is extensive evidence that high ecological integrity leads to higher levels of many ecosystem values important to people, and the degradation of integrity is happening worldwide. The introduction of an innovative new metric for mapping contemporary forest degradation.
Sept. 25, 11:45am–12:45pm Colombia is the second most biodiverse country in the world. The event will showcase HeCo as the national flagship program to help achieve the country achieve its ambitious environmental commitments.
Sept. 25, 11:15am–12:45pm Where are the places that we can’t afford to lose from a climate perspective? We will discuss the imperative to pay attention to these places now, even if the threats they face are medium- or long-term.
The Power of Nature in a Planetary Emergency
Sept. 25, 5–8pm The event will focus on how nature-based solutions for climate can also deliver for biodiversity and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Intact forests, that is forests that are not significantly disturbed by industrial activities, are an irreplaceable part of the effort to restrict global temperature rise. They are indispensable both as natural storehouses for carbon and as a carbon sink, annually sequestering 1/4 of all emissions.
Intact forests are irreplaceable, holding immense and unique value for both the climate and the biosphere.
But today, intact forests are in rapid decline. From 2000 to 2016, we lost about 9% of these forests around the world. Projections suggest we will lose half by the end of the century unless urgent action is taken today. Our goal is to halt intact forest loss by 2030. Check out our strategy.
What role can nature-based solutions play in combating climate change? What is WCS’s strategy to conserve intact forests? We spoke with Caleb McClennen, Vice President, Global Conservation.
Intact forests hold 11 years' worth of human-related emissions. If we protect them, says Joe Walston, Senior Vice President, Global Conservation Program, they can be part of the solution to reversing climate change.
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