Nature Funding Must Triple by 2030 to Protect Land, Wildlife and Climate

(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Global annual spending to protect and restore nature needs to triple this decade to about $350 billion by 2030 and rise to $536 billion by 2050, a U.N. report said on Thursday, urging a shift in mindset among financiers, businesses and governments.

The inaugural State of Finance for Nature report looked at how to tackle the planet’s climate, biodiversity and land degradation crises, estimating about $8 trillion in investment would be needed by mid-century to safeguard natural systems.

Inger Andersen, executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), told the report launch the amounts required may sound large but “it’s peanuts when we are frankly talking about securing the planet and our very own future”.

“Our health, the quality of our lives, our jobs, temperature regulation, the housing we build and of course the food we eat, the water we drink” all depend on well-functioning natural systems, she said.

Report co-author Ivo Mulder, who heads UNEP’s climate finance unit, said financial flows should work with nature rather than against it.


South Africa’s Potential to Expand Tree Cover as a Climate Mitigation Tool

outh Africa is counting on its tree cover to act as a protected carbon sink that will further drop emissions accelerating climate change.

The policy move is in line with international climate commitments and a 2018 warning from leading scientists that forests are a major requisite in the global fight against catastrophic climate change, thanks to their unparalleled capacity to absorb and store carbon.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that stopping deforestation and restoring damaged forests could provide up to 30% of the climate solution.

Boost to mitigation efforts  

South Africa’s land cover is dominated by open ecosystems in the form of shrublands (covering just less than 40% of the total land area), savanna woodlands (33%) and grasslands (27%).

Both indigenous and exotic forest plantations make up the remainder, with indigenous forests occupying less than 0.3% of South Africa’s land area, according to GeoTerraImage, while exotic forest plantations occupy about 1% of the overall area.


The Immense Potential Of Forests To Sequester Carbon

Most of us understand that trees are good for the environment and that they absorb carbon in order to grow. We are familiar with comparisons that show how many trees would have to be planted in order to compensate for the carbon emissions from an airplane flight or from driving our cars. We have heard some people say that planting trees would solve our climate change problems. But is this really true? Is it bad to harvest forests to produce lumber? How much carbon could we eliminate from the atmosphere through better forest management? We sat down with two forestry management and carbon offset program experts to discuss this topic and here is what they had to say.

Julius Pasay is the Director of Project Development at The Climate Trust, a nonprofit organization that combats climate change by funding and managing projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and has been in operation since 1997. Julius oversees forestry and grassland programs, and works on carbon offset project development with landowners and land managers throughout the U.S. Julius is a Certified Forester and holds a Master of Forestry from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.


The Best Way to Restore Forests Is To Let The Trees Plant Themselves

Ecosystems have been growing themselves for hundreds of millions of years, and forests that plant themselves are better and most diverse. That’s why a group of environmental advocates in the UK from a charity called Rewilding Britain say we should let nature do its thing instead of manually mass-planting trees. Natural dispersal of seeds boosts biodiversity, costs a lot less, and may even sequester more carbon.

Rebecca Wrigley, Rewilding Britain’s chief executive, said:

People have this mindset that woodland expansion means planting trees, and that’s across the conservation sector as well. Nature is pretty good at doing this itself. Natural regeneration brings multiple potential benefits – you get the right tree in the right place, you don’t get the potential carbon emissions you get with planting on peaty soils, and you boost the complexity of the ecosystem, which builds resilience. Natural regeneration also helps species to shift and adapt to climate change. There’s growing evidence that it can sequester more carbon, although there isn’t a broad research base yet because natural regeneration is not on people’s radars.


Cómo reforestar el planeta para mitigar la crisis climática

Una de las fórmulas más contundente de mitigación de la crisis climática a nivel global consiste en la creación de anillos, cinturones y murallas verdes. Ya se están desarrollando a gran escala en los distintos continentes.

La estrategia se basa en plantaciones de miles de millones de árboles, entendidos como infraestructuras verdes. Aportan beneficios relacionados con el secuestro de carbono y la conservación de la biodiversidad, entre otros factores.

Los primeros cinturones verdes

Suele considerarse que el primer cinturón verde fue diseñado por Moisés hace más de 3 000 años en los ejidos de los alrededores de las doce ciudades levitas. Fue la respuesta a una de las mayores crisis climáticas de la historia, probable causa real de las conocidas como 10 plagas de Egipto.

Puede también considerarse cinturón verde el diseñado por Mahoma en el siglo VII alrededor de la emblemática ciudad de Medina, mediante la prohibición de talar árboles en una franja de 20 km.



Letting Forests Regrow Naturally Is a Simple yet Effective Way to Fight Climate Change

  • The potential rates of carbon capture from natural forest regrowth are far higher than previously estimated.
  • Letting forests regrow naturally has the potential to absorb up to 8.9 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year through 2050.
  • This is the equivalent of 23% of global CO2 emissions and will be on top of the 30% currently absorbed by existing forests.

There’s increasing recognition of how nature can help tackle the climate crisis. From protecting standing forests to planting new trees, forests offer significant climate mitigation benefits. Now, new research shows that letting forests regrow on their own could be a secret weapon to fighting climate change.

Experts at WRI, The Nature Conservancy and other institutions mapped potential rates of carbon capture from “natural forest regrowth,” a restoration method distinct from active tree-planting, where trees are allowed to grow back on lands previously cleared for agriculture and other purposes.


The Secret Behind Costa Rica’s Remarkable Green Transformation

Aldo Sánchez surveys a field of lofty banana trees with cacao plants bursting with fruit nestled beneath them. “Two and a half years ago, this was pure pasture,” he says. Indeed, his neighbor’s field is just grass.

Four decades ago, a swath of land including Sánchez’s farm in Jabillos in central Costa Rica was deforested to plant coffee. It was later turned over to cattle, but ranching dried up when prices collapsed. Cacao — the raw material for chocolate — had not been planted since the late 1970s, when the monilia fungus destroyed 80 percent of the national crop.

“Even 10 kilometers [6 miles] away, people couldn’t believe we were planting cacao because the last people to do that were their grandparents,” Sánchez says.

His farm is a successful example of agroforestry — the sustainable combination of crops with trees — that is complementing Costa Rica’s remarkable reforestation in the past three decades.

Today, with exuberant tropical vegetation cloaking its countryside, it’s hard to imagine that the Central American nation of 5 million people could once have been any greener.



Land Restoration in Latin America Shows Big Potential for Climate Change Mitigation

Land restoration in Latin America and the Caribbean is picking up pace and scaling up projects will help the region meet its pledges under the Bonn Challenge, which aims to restore 350 million hectares of degraded and deforested land worldwide by 2030. A new study led by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and Wageningen University supplies a first map of restoration projects in Latin America and shows their potential to mitigate climate change through restoring forests.

Researchers took stock of the location, goals and activities of 154 projects in Latin America and the Caribbean, starting a database to guide practitioners in scaling up restoration. They mapped projects under five initiatives working towards the Bonn Challenge goals – the 20×20 Initiative, the Global Environment Facility, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), the Forest Investment Program (FIP) and independent local projects – in tandem with mapping the potential biomass increase that forest restoration could achieve across the region’s various ecosystems.


Cambio climático: ¿esta solución natural es la más efectiva para combatir el calentamiento global?

Un nuevo estudio asegura que existe un área del tamaño de Estados Unidos disponible para plantar árboles en todo el mundo, y que esto podría tener un impacto dramático en la lucha contra el cambio climático.

El estudio muestra que el espacio descrito para sembrar nuevos árboles es mucho mayor de lo que se pensaba anteriormente, y reduciría el dióxido de carbono (CO2) en la atmósfera en un 25%.

Según sus autores, se trata de la solución más efectiva para el cambio climático de que dispone el mundo en este momento.

Pero otros investigadores dicen que los resultados de la investigación son “demasiado buenos para ser verdad”.

La capacidad de los árboles para absorber el dióxido de carbono hace que sean un arma valiosa en la lucha contra el aumento de las temperaturas.

El Panel Intergubernamental sobre el Cambio Climático (IPCC, por sus siglas en inglés) dijo que si el mundo quisiera limitar el aumento a 1,5 °C para 2050, se necesitaría un millón de hectáreas adicionales de árboles.


The New Plan to Remove a Trillion Tons of Carbon Dioxide from the Atmosphere: Bury It

Last month, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere surpassed 415 parts per million, the highest in human history. Environmental experts say the world is increasingly on a path toward a climate crisis.

The most prominent efforts to prevent that crisis involve reducing carbon emissions. But another idea is also starting to gain traction — sucking all that carbon out of the atmosphere and storing it underground.

It sounds like an idea plucked from science fiction, but the reality is that trees and plants already do it, breathing carbon dioxide and then depositing it via roots and decay into the soil. That’s why consumers and companies often “offset” their carbon emissions by planting carbon-sucking trees elsewhere in the world.

But an upstart company, ­Boston-based Indigo AG, now wants to transform farming practices so that agriculture becomes quite the opposite of what it is today — a major source of greenhouse gas emissions.