Global recognition that ecosystems are key to human resilience in a warming world

David Parastatidis's picture
Submitted by David Parastatidis on November 19, 2018 - 6:03pm

Ecosystems are not merely vulnerable to climate change but, if sustainably restored and protected, are a major source of human resilience. Not only is the science evidence-base for this perspective growing rapidly, but ecosystems are featuring with increasing prominence in global climate change policy. Of 167 climate pledges submitted by the signatories of the Paris Climate Change Agreement (representing 194 nations), 103 include commitments to the restoration, management or protection of natural habitats in their adaptation strategies (of which 70 are aimed at protecting human communities from climate change hazards, i.e. ecosystem-based adaptation). A further 27 describe similar actions in their mitigation plans. In total, 65% of Paris Agreement signatories commit to restoring and/or protecting natural ecosystems. However, commitments rarely translate into robust science-based targets. As the world takes stock of the Agreement in 2018 and climate pledges are revised, we urge the science community to work closely with policy makers to identify meaningful adaptation targets that benefit both people and the ecosystems on which they depend.

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