Natural Climate Solutions for Canada: an overview by ICFC

January 23, 2020 -- ICFC has prepared a brief overview of natural climate solutions for Canada as we wanted to understand what is needed here at home in relation to the global potential. We were unable to find a ready source of such info, although we know our conservation and environmental colleagues here in Canada are busy studying this as well.

Natural climate solutions (NCS; also called nature-based solutions), are increasingly in the news, such as this article in the January 22 Washington Post and an op-ed in the Dec. 29 Globe and Mail.  And with good reason.  In order to avoid catastrophic climate change we must both rapidly reduce fossil fuel emissions and simultaneously harness nature to the cause. 

We at ICFC are very aware of the huge climate co-benefits of our work (see our own op-ed in the Chronicle Herald), especially from avoiding carbon emissions from deforestation but also from restoring natural ecosystems, which removes CO2 from the atmosphere.  Most of the world's potential for natural climate solutions lies in tropical ecosystems (Brazil's potential is 13 times that of Canada), but Canada also has significant potential because of its size and the vast extent of our forests. 

ICFC's primary focus is conserving biodiversity.  It just happens that there is much overlap in addressing humanity's dual challenges of global biodiversity loss and climate change.  We view this as a win-win-win opportunity for nature, people and climate.  Let's hope we are smart enough to act on it.

Photo (FUNDAECO): Deforestation at Sierra Caral in Guatemala, where ICFC helped buy land for a permanent nature reserve.

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