Copenhagen, Denmark – Protected Areas offer a cost effective solution to the impacts of climate change, according to a new book from IUCN, The Nature Conservancy, the United Nations Development Programme, Wildlife Conservation Society, the World Bank and WWF.
“This book, Natural Solutions: protected areas helping people cope with climate change, clearly articulates for the first time how protected areas contribute significantly to reducing the impacts of climate change and what’s needed for them to achieve even more,” says Lord Nicholas Stern, who wrote a foreword for the report.
Protected areas play a major role in reducing climate changing carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere. Fifteen percent of the world’s terrestrial carbon stock - 312 Gigatonnes - are stored in protected areas around the world. In Canada, over 4 billion tons of carbon dioxide is sequestered in 39 national parks, estimated to be worth $39-87 billion in carbon credits. In the Brazilian Amazon, protected lands are expected to prevent 670,000 km² of deforestation by 2050, representing 8 billion tons of avoided carbon emissions.
Protected areas also serve as natural buffers against climate impacts and other disasters, providing space for floodwaters to disperse, stabilizing soil against landslides and blocking storm surges. It has been estimated that coastal wetlands in the United States provide $23.2 billion a year in protection against flooding from hurricanes.
And protected areas can keep natural resources healthy and productive so they can withstand the impacts of climate change and continue to provide the food, clean water, shelter and income communities rely upon for survival. Thirty three of the world’s 100 largest cities derive their drinking water from catchments within forest protected areas.
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- Download the report at: http://cmsdata.iucn.org/downloads/natural_solutions.pdf