Folder Climate Change & Biodiversity


In the atmosphere, gases such as water vapour, carbon dioxide, ozone, and methane act like the glass roof of a greenhouse by trapping heat and warming the planet. These gases are called greenhouse gases. The natural levels of these gases are being supplemented by emissions resulting from human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels, farming activities and land-use changes. As a result, the Earth’s surface and lower atmosphere are warming, and this rise in temperature is accompanied by many other changes.

There is ample evidence that climate change affects biodiversity. According to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, climate change is likely to become one of the most significant drivers of biodiversity loss by the end of the century. Climate change is already forcing biodiversity to adapt either through shifting habitat, changing life cycles, or the development of new physical traits.

Conserving natural terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems and restoring degraded ecosystems (including their genetic and species diversity) is essential for the overall goals of both the Convention on Biological Diversity and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change because ecosystems play a key role in the global carbon cycle and in adapting to climate change, while also providing a wide range of ecosystem services that are essential for human well-being and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

Biodiversity can support efforts to reduce the negative effects of climate change. Conserved or restored habitats can remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, thus helping to address climate change by storing carbon (for example, reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation). Moreover, conserving in-tact ecosystems, such as mangroves, for example, can help reduce the disastrous impacts of climate change such as flooding and storm surges.


For more information and COP decisions on this subject:

Text source: Convention on Biological Diversity

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