Accelerating Nature-Based Solutions for ‘Negative Emissions’ and other Benefits

with Dr. Grant Ballard, Chief Science Officer, Point Blue Conservation Science

submitted to 2017 National Adaptation Forum

Human-caused impacts on ecosystems, from changes in land-use to climate, are accelerating, already exceeding some planetary boundaries or tipping points.  The speed and severity of environmental change pose unprecedented challenges to wildlife and human communities.

While life as we know it is totally reliant on nature’s services to sustain us, public policy- globally, nationally and regionally- is only recently beginning to recognize and prioritize the value of adding nature-based approaches to the climate-change solutions tool box.

Climate-smart ecological restoration and conservation management approaches that not only maintain but accelerate the production of benefits from functioning ecosystems, such as carbon sequestration (“negative emissions”), replenishing groundwater, enhancing biodiversity and sustaining our communities, are required to secure our future. Examples of innovative and climate-smart conservation practice from the Sierra Nevada to the Pacific Ocean will be shared. The presentation will conclude with a hopeful vision for our future.