Global climate change is one of the biggest threats facing our planet and all life on it. Fauna & Flora aims to ensure that the species and places we are working to save can flourish no matter what the future may hold.
Minimising changes to our climate
Our efforts include important measures to minimise climate change and its impacts on species, habitats and people. Obviously, safeguarding the forests, oceans, grasslands, soils and other natural environments that help to absorb and store carbon and thereby reduce the concentration of global greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has always been central to FFI’s activity, but we also champion REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation), which both encourages and enables communities to manage their forests sustainably, and have been involved in piloting this approach at some of our project sites – Learn more.
Adapting to a changing climate
Where adaptation is concerned, our approach involves identifying the vulnerabilities of the species, habitats and (importantly) people in the places where we work, and developing strategies to increase their resilience to change, and their ability to adapt to the new conditions.
As well as considering the direct impacts of the changing climate on our target species and ecosystems, we also look at the likely responses of people to climate change (such as shifting and expanding agriculture to compensate for falling crop yields and crop failures). This is crucial, because the way in which people respond will have major knock-on effects on the whole environment.
For example, Fauna & Flora has worked at five pilot sites in agricultural landscapes to identify ways in which climate change will affect people, biodiversity and ecosystem services, and to plan accordingly, using a combination of scientific data and grass-roots information from communities on the ground.
One of these sites is the freshwater island of Ometepe, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in Lake Nicaragua where Fauna & Flora has worked for over a decade. Farmers here are being encouraged to harvest rainwater and experiment with crop diversification to increase their resilience to increasingly unpredictable weather patterns.
Having trialled this approach at a number of our project sites, we are seeking to embed resilience to climate change across our entire portfolio, giving priority to those places that are most at risk from the changing climate. The idea in each case is to adopt a ‘no regrets’ approach with actions that will be beneficial irrespective of what happens next. We are also actively sharing our approaches and experiences in climate adaptation across the conservation sector and beyond.