Climate Change and Biodiversity

Bufo periglenes - the golden toad. This species' extinction has been attributed to climate change. © Charles Smith, US Fish and Wildlife Service

UNEP-WCMC’s Climate Change and Biodiversity Programme has been providing decision makers with policy-relevant information, syntheses and analyses on the linkages between climate change and biodiversity since 1998. Our core work focuses on the impacts of climate change and climate policy on biodiversity and ecosystem services, and on the role of biodiversity and ecosystem services in climate change mitigation and adaptation.

The Programme has expanded significantly in recent years. We supported the work of the CBD Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Biodiversity and Climate Change with surveys of the recent scientific literature. We play an active role within the UN-REDD Programme (the United Nations’ initiative to assist developing countries to prepare and implement national REDD+ strategies) where we work particularly on the multiple benefits of REDD+. We undertake extensive work, in collaboration with national authorities, on mapping carbon, biodiversity and ecosystem services, in order to support planning and implementation of climate change mitigation and adaptation.
 

In This Section

Climate Change Mitigation: Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

Climate Change Mitigation: Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

To mitigate climate change it is necessary to limit the increase in concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Ecosystems and their biodiversity have important roles to play in securing the substantial carbon stocks held within the earth’s ecosystems, sequestering further carbon and providing a stable store under changing conditions. Informed decision-making and careful management of natural ecosystems for mitigation can enhance this role and help to avoid potential negative impacts.

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Climate Change Adaptation: Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

Climate Change Adaptation: Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

The relationship between biodiversity and climate change adaptation should be explored from several perspectives. As climate change increasingly puts a strain on ecosystems and species populations, it is important to find ways to increase their resilience to current and future climate change. At the same time, the conservation and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystem services can play a key role in helping societies to adapt to climate change. A third aspect is the potential negative impacts that ill-designed adaptation activities may have on biodiversity.
 

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Our staff

The Climate Change and Biodiversity Programme