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“And/Also”, Not “Either/or” — The Need to Restore Nature and Cut Emissions

May 05, 2020 |

This article was originally published on Medium.

“The world is ready to take Nature-Based Solutions to scale. The launch of ‘trillion tree’ initiatives to protect and restore ecosystems, along with the upcoming UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration add momentum to existing efforts such as the Bonn Challenge, New York Declaration on Forests and others to scale Nature-Based Solutions. This unprecedented financial and political backing by governments, corporate leaders, NGOs, civil society and others could be the game-changer that drives a resurgent bottom-up movement of local actions with global significance.

We must not squander this opportunity. Nature-Based Solutions cannot be used as a reason to defer ambitious cuts to greenhouse gas emissions, cover for investments that lock-in high-carbon resources, nor an excuse to lift environmental protections. It’s important that nature-based activities be complemented by emissions reductions at source, comprehensive climate policies and proper accountability.

To ensure that we capitalize on the immense opportunity that Nature-Based Solutions provide, environmental scientists and NGOs have been collaborating to provide clarity and guidance to the increasing interest in Nature-Based Solutions. In a letter to the President of COP26, 20 organizations outlined evidence-based guidelines for Nature-Based Solutions. In June this year, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) will launch new Global Standards as a socially and ecologically responsible benchmark for state and non-state actors, following two-years of consultation across 100 countries.

Among all the emerging guidelines and standards, which are critical for successful restoration and conservation, we see four high-level principles that pervade them. We call on those committing to Nature-Based Solutions to uphold and practise these principles:

1. Cut Emissions

2. Conserve and Protect Existing Ecosystems

3. Be Socially Responsible

4. Be Ecologically Responsible

Read on at: Medium

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