Natural Climate Solutions: Creating a better world for wildlife and people

by | May 20, 2019 | Biodiversity, Conservation, Ecological Restoration, Rewilding

When living systems – like forests, peat bogs, saltmarshes and the seabed – are allowed to recover, they draw down carbon from the atmosphere, reducing the chances of climate catastrophe.

Their restoration will also minimise extinction and ecological collapse, and create a richer world of wonders for us to enjoy.

The allies of Natural Climate Solutions are calling on governments, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD), UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and other bodies to give Natural Climate Solutions the attention they deserve.

The world faces two existential crises, developing with terrifying speed: climate breakdown and ecological breakdown. Neither is being addressed with the urgency needed to prevent our life-support systems from spiralling into collapse.

We are writing to champion a thrilling but neglected approach to averting climate chaos while defending the living world: Natural Climate Solutions. This means drawing carbon dioxide out of the air by protecting and restoring ecosystems.

By defending, restoring and re-establishing forests, peatlands, mangroves, salt marshes, natural seabeds and other crucial ecosystems, very large amounts of carbon can be removed from the air and stored. At the same time, the protection and restoration of these ecosystems can help to minimise a sixth great extinction, while enhancing local people’s resilience against climate disaster. Defending the living world and defending the climate are, in many cases, one and the same.

This potential has so far been largely overlooked. We call on governments to support Natural Climate Solutions with an urgent programme of research, funding and political commitment. It is essential that they work with the guidance and free, prior and informed consent of indigenous people and other local communities.

This approach should not be used as a substitute for the rapid and comprehensive decarbonisation of industrial economies. A committed and well-funded programme to address all the causes of climate chaos, including Natural Climate Solutions, could help us hold the heating of the planet below 1.5C. We ask that they are deployed with the urgency these crises demand.

Greta Thunberg Activist
Margaret Atwood Author
Michael Mann Distinguished professor of atmospheric science
Naomi Klein Author and campaigner
Mohamed Nasheed Former president, the Maldives
Rowan Williams former Archbishop of Canterbury
Dia Mirza Actor and UN environment goodwill ambassador
Brian Eno Musician and artist
Philip Pullman Author
Bill McKibben Author and campaigner
Simon Lewis Professor of global change science
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall Presenter and author
Charlotte Wheeler Forest restoration scientist
David Suzuki Scientist and author
Anohni Musician and artist
Asha de Vos Marine biologist
Yeb Saño Activist
Bittu Sahgal Founder, Sanctuary Nature Foundation
John Sauven Executive director, Greenpeace UK
Craig Bennett CEO, Friends of the Earth
Ruth Davis Deputy director of global programmes, RSPB
Rebecca Wrigley Chief executive, Rewilding Britain
George Monbiot Journalist


En Español:

El mundo enfrenta dos crisis existenciales, que se desarrollan con una velocidad aterradora: la degradación del clima y la degradación ecológica. Tampoco se está enfrentando con la urgencia necesaria para evitar que nuestros sistemas de soporte de vida se conviertan en una espiral de colapso.

Estamos escribiendo para abogar por un enfoque apasionante pero negado para evitar el caos climático mientras defendemos la vida del mundo: Soluciones Naturales para el Clima. Esto significa extraer dióxido de carbono del aire mediante la protección y restauración de los ecosistemas.

Al defender, restaurar y restablecer los bosques, las turberas, los manglares, las marismas, los fondos marinos naturales y otros ecosistemas cruciales, se pueden eliminar grandes cantidades de carbono del aire y almacenarlas. Al mismo tiempo, la protección y restauración de estos ecosistemas puede ayudar a minimizar una sexta gran extinción, en tanto mejora la resistencia de la población local contra los desastres climáticos. La defensa del mundo viviente y la defensa del clima son, en muchos casos, uno y lo mismo.

Este potencial ha sido ampliamente pasado por alto. Hacemos un llamado a los gobiernos para que apoyen a Soluciones Naturales para el Clima con un programa urgente de investigación, financiamiento y compromiso político. Es esencial que trabajen con la orientación y el consentimiento informado y libre de los pueblos indígenas y otras comunidades locales.

Este enfoque no debe utilizarse como sustituto de la rápida y completa descarbonización de las economías industriales. Un programa comprometido y bien financiado para abordar todas las causas del caos climático, incluyendo las Soluciones Climáticas Naturales, podría ayudarnos a mantener el calentamiento del planeta por debajo de 1.5°C. Pedimos que se desplieguen con la urgencia que demanda esta crisis.


True Nature Foundation’s mission is to combine ecological restoration and conservation to create thriving environments for sustainable development and resilient communities. Our success depends on the active involvement of communities whose lives and livelihoods are linked to the natural ecosystems we seek to sustainably protect.



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Ecosystem restoration as a strategic response to address the climate change and extinction crisis.

Our projects align the ongoing needs of rural communities with the health of the landscape and wildlife populations, providing a pragmatic approach to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and supporting the global health, climate change and biodiversity conservation agenda.

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