Solutions for Nature & People
BirdLife Partners are experts in managing ecosystems to help bird and human populations withstand climate threats.
Despite the significant ways climate change will threaten birds and people, there is hope.
BirdLife International is at the forefront of efforts to implement interventions that safeguard healthy ecosystems and mitigate further warming. The benefits extend beyond birds; the nature-based solutions BirdLife Partners implement worldwide deliver benefits for communities.
Minimising climate change impacts requires smart mitigation efforts including clean energy solutions for people and nature
The impacts of climate change on people and nature demand a rapid transition to a low-carbon economy. Increasing energy efficiency, reducing consumption, and replacing polluting fossil fuels with clean, renewable energy are all essential strategies for reducing carbon emissions. What’s more is that those changes also deliver multiple environmental, social, and economic benefits. Yet new energy sources pose new challenges. As with fossil fuels, large-scale deployment of renewable energy without careful planning can lead to unintended environmental impacts. Policy makers, planning authorities, investors, and developers are increasingly being urged to ensure renewable energy development does not have unacceptable impacts on birds and nature.Case Studies
Protecting and restoring of carbon-rich ecosystems combats climate change and benefits people and nature
Healthy ecosystems remove carbon from the atmosphere and store it in biomass. If this biomass is degraded or destroyed, carbon is released into the atmosphere–driving further climate change. Protection and restoration of natural ecosystems provides an immediate and cost-effective climate change mitigation strategy that also benefits people and nature. The BirdLife Partnership conserves and restores carbon-rich ecosystems in 119 countries.Case Studies
Conservation planning is increasingly integrating climate change concerns and will need to be flexible and dynamic in the future. While existing conservation goals usually remain valid, specific objectives are being redefined. Enhanced monitoring is essential to detect climate-induced changes in bird populations and to track the effectiveness of adaptation interventions.Case Studies
Effectively conserving key sites such as IBAs through formal protected areas or community-managed reserves remains an urgent priority to ensure resilience under climate change, although the management of such sites is changing to accommodate shifting ecological communities. New IBAs are being identified, and habitat in them is being conserved, restored, or created to provide suitable conditions for the future.Case Studies
With climate change forcing many species to shift their distributions, improving connectivity among key sites and policy responses to make the wider countryside more biodiversity-friendly are helping species to cope with climate change. Targeted interventions, however, will be needed for some species, such as captive breeding and, potentially, assisted colonization.Case Studies
Ecosystem-based approaches can form an important part of human adaptation and disaster risk reduction strategies. Maintaining and enhancing mangroves, watershed vegetation and other ‘natural infrastructure’ can buffer people from extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and changing rainfall patterns. At the same time, these measures ensure that habitats continue to provide ecosystem services such as food, water filtration, and crop pollination in a changing climate.Case Studies
Ecosystem-based adaptation will often be the first line of defence against the impacts of climate change for the most vulnerable people. Poor communities tend to be seen as helpless victims of climate change. But while they are often hit hardest, in many instances they are also the innovators and instigators of practical nature-based solutions that are accessible, cost-effective, and locally appropriate.Case Studies
Everyone contributes to climate change, and everyone is impacted by it. Raising awareness of the consequences of climate change and potential solutions can help mobilise society to take action and ensure political decisions benefit both people and nature in the long term. It is essential that communities participate actively in decision-making, and that local experience informs decisions at all levels. This engagement ensures appropriate and sustainable solutions recognize local needs and vulnerabilities.Case Studies
This synthesis shows that climate change is not simply a concern for the future: there is already considerable evidence of negative impacts from recent climate change.
As the global average temperature continues to rise, climate change will threaten many species, disrupt ecological communities, and pose significant challenges to nature and people. However, we already know many of the solutions that are needed, and we are implementing these across the world. Policymakers have a critical role to play in scaling up these solutions, and must act now in order to safeguard the future of the Earth’s ecosystems upon which we all depend. Here we highlight the key policy responses required.Recommendations