Rewild the planet to help solve the climate crisis

A beaver surveys his dam along the Snake River in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Rewild the planet to help solve the climate crisis

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is the only legal framework globally addressing the protection, restoration, and use of nature. On December 7th-19th, the parties of the convention meet in Montreal, Canada, to finalize a Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. This plan with goals, targets, and milestones will shape the actions and financing of the nature conservation agenda for the next eight years and give direction to the work beyond in close to 200 countries.

To turn the tide on nature loss, a “Paris Agreement for Nature” has been called for. Currently, only around 3 percent of land and sea can be considered functionally intact. Restoring the web of life (functionality of ecosystems) and allowing healthy animal populations - rewilding - will therefore be required for our land, freshwater, and seas.

Such an approach will not only help the large-scale recovery of nature required for the planet. It will also help humanity to turn the negative trend on climate change due to the interdependence of biodiversity and climate:  Restoring the functional role of marine fish, whales, elephants, wolves, sharks, bison, and other wildlife species can be the game changer by magnifying carbon uptake by 1.5 to 12.5 times across the world’s terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems – a process called “(Re)-animating the carbon cycle.” 

In fact, without mobilizing nature through reanimating the carbon cycle, we will not be able to avoid a climate breakdown.

The Global Rewilding Alliance is calling on the delegates and governments assembling at the CBD COP15 to:

  • Open their minds to what is the most natural and cost-effective solution for addressing both the biodiversity and climate crises, thereby healing the planet and safeguarding the wellbeing of human civilization: Through rewilding, re-animate the carbon cycle by restoring functional ecosystems and healthy animal populations.
  • Immediately protect what’s left on the planet of wild, intact nature and ensure rewilding as a key management task for the 30x30 protection target on land and in the seas falling under national jurisdiction
  • Urgently rebuild key wildlife populations for biodiversity and climate healing, which often have been reduced by 70%, and, in some cases, by 90%
  • Seriously consider the additional carbon sequestration that a comeback of nature offers
  • Integrate the approaches and action plans with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, thereby addressing the systemic crises of biodiversity extinction and climate change with a unified, systemic approach
  • Ensure that the successful conclusion of the “Paris Agreement for Nature” at CBD spills over to the protection of the ocean through the establishment of a High Seas Treaty under UNCLOS (UN Convention on the Law of the Seas) as an international legally binding instrument on the conservation of marine Biodiversity in areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ)
Read more about Animating the Carbon Cycle
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