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.
Restoring peatland in Belarus reduces emissions and saves waterbirds
Peatlands cover only 2-3% of the world’s land surface, but they contain carbon stocks equivalent to 100 years of current fossil fuel emissions. In Belarus, BirdLife Partners are restoring 51,000 ha of degraded peatland, turning the land from a net source of carbon to a net sink–while creating important habitat for threatened bird species.
A new approach to forest conservation is emerging in Indonesia
Burung Indonesia (BirdLife in Indonesia) and the RSPB (BirdLife in the UK) are restoring 99,000 ha of lowland Sumatran rainforest. This protects dense carbon stocks and habitat for a rich diversity of species, including the Critically Endangered Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae). Thanks to this new approach, ecological restoration concessions have been recognised as a forest management tool by the Indonesian Government, with 2.5 million ha of forest now earmarked for restoration.
Conserving forests in Paraguay benefits climate, wildlife, and local communities
Guyra Paraguay (BirdLife in Paraguay) combines carbon financing and payments for ecosystem services to cut emissions by more than 120,000 tonnes of CO2-equivalent by 2030 and protect 69,300 ha of biodiversity-rich forest in the San Rafael IBA from conversion to agriculture. Communities are encouraged to practise sustainable farming practices, which enhance yields on existing cultivated land, thus increasing income and reducing the incentive for further forest clearance for cultivation.
Restoring forests in the Philippines’ Sierra Madre provides benefits for people and nature
The Haribon Foundation (BirdLife in the Philippines) is working with local government, the environment ministry and indigenous people to protect and restore 40,000 ha of forest in the Sierra Madre. This initiative reduces carbon emissions while protecting wildlife such as the Critically Endangered Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) and safeguarding a water catchment for the national capital, Manila.
Implementing REDD+ in Sierra Leone reduces emissions while benefitting birds and people
The Conservation Society of Sierra Leone (BirdLife in Sierra Leone) is working with the RSPB (BirdLife in the UK) to reduce the pressures of logging and agriculture on the forests of Gola Rainforest National Park, which supports more than 330 bird species. This REDD+ initiative will conserve more than 5 million tonnes of CO2-equivalent in the first 10 years while providing livelihood support to 122 communities. Revenues from the sale of carbon credits will support national park management.
Restoring mangroves in Mexico enhances carbon sequestration and benefits the community
Mangroves are among the largest natural reservoirs of carbon in the tropics but are highly threatened by habitat destruction and over-exploitation. Pronatura (BirdLife in Mexico) and partners are restoring mangroves in the Chiapas-Oaxaca coastal region of Mexico. This ensures the effective storage of carbon, secures benefits to local communities, and improves habitat for shorebirds such as Least Sandpiper (Calidris minutilla).