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Nature is the basis of our society and economy. By conserving, restoring and protecting ecosystems such as forests, wetlands, tundra and oceans, we can pull carbon from the atmosphere, adapt to climate impacts and improve the well-being and resilience of human and non-human species alike. 



LAND - Protect at risk ecosystems such as tundra, old growth temperate rainforest and boreal forests, and prairies from resource extraction and development, so they can continue to sequester carbon while providing habitats for diverse flora and fauna and space for all people to recreate, enjoy and connect with nature.

WATER - Protect and restore wetlands, lakes, rivers, oceans and glaciers from pollution and destruction to ensure effective climate adaptation, healthy connected marine ecosystems, and clean water for all.

FOOD - Advocate for the development of systems to grow our food locally and sustainably to ensure the health of our soil, our plants, our animals, and ourselves.



At the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, a huge push to address global environmental problems led the UN to set up three conventions on climate change, biodiversity loss and desertification. Since then, policies, research, and funding have been siloed into climate change or biodiversity loss (or desertification) despite these issues being intrinsically intertwined. Carbon - when released into the atmosphere as a greenhouse gas causing global warming - is the same essential element in our soil, forests, wetlands, plants, animals and humans. The issues are one in the same. Climate change is a major factor contributing to biodiversity change and loss and biodiversity is essential to slowing, stopping and adapting to climate change.

Keeping and sequestering the carbon out of the atmosphere, requires large scale carbon storage in our ecosystems, including carbon-rich tundra, peatlands, forests, mangroves and oceans. These ecosystems are intricate and complex networks of a huge variety of species that work in collaboration and competition. Loss of any species will have cascading and unpredictable impacts within its ecosystem, and the health of each ecosystem influences the health of all the ecosystems and habitats around it, including our own. With complicated relationships between plants and seed dispersers, predator and prey, habitats and inhabitants, the smallest impacts can change the populations and dynamics and throw ecosystems far and wide out of balance as species relationships, habitats, and behaviours are altered. The extinction of a species has a domino effect that we can't even begin to predict, and climate change is tipping many species past their threshold

Warmer temperatures due to climate change are pushing species ranges and habitats further towards the poles and up in elevation. For example the alpine tree lines are moving upwards taking over formerly tundra habitats and the plants and animals there. Shorter winters are allowing invasive species like mountain pine beetle to thrive. Early arrival of spring is throwing off the timing of species that work together such as flowers blooming before their pollinators are ready to pollinate, or bears waking from hibernation before their food sources like salmon arrive. All species have a thermal threshold - a temperature they can reasonably survive within. Humans have been dying from extreme heatwaves, and other species are experiencing the same thing, with whole populations dying as lakes heat up beyond normal levels. Drought, forest fires, toxic algae bloom and other heat related events can also kill populations and even cause species to go extinct. 

Climate change is bringing with it bigger and larger storms, rising sea level, landslides and erosion, flooding, droughts, food insecurity, and more. Intact ecosystems and high levels of species diversity are essential to responding and adapting to these impacts. Glaciers and polar regions reflect solar radiation away from the earth while oceans and lakes absorb excess heat. Mangroves and peatlands naturally absorb excess flood water while ecosystem architects, like beavers, build and maintain natural dams that create natural floodzones ecosystems like marshes, swamps and wetlands. Forests form key barriers to erosion while networks of fungi work together with tree species to share nutrients, water, and even information. Grasslands ensure soil retention while grazing species naturally trample and add nutrients to the soil. Pollinators, like bees, and seed dispersing species, like birds, ensure plant survival, including essential food sources for humans and animals. 

All this goes to show: the greater diversity, the better off we are. The more species interacting - the greater resilience we have to maintain healthy environments that help stop and adapt to climate change. Just like species diversity increases the ability to respond, adapt and survive to changing environments, human diversity - including diversity of people, perspectives, lived experiences, ideas and solutions - also increase our resilience. Therefore incorporating all stakeholders to use multiple ways of knowing to co-create multi-disciplinary management strategies, is key to creating effective solutions that address the interrelated climate and biodiversity issues.  While humans tend to like to dissect, categorize and draw borders separating species and ecosystems, countries and provinces, social and environmental issues, nature can't be cut into pieces. Nature is more than the sum of its parts, its an intricate network of relationships creating a global environmental system, and we are a small piece of it ourselves. Biodiversity and conservation, like climate change is a complex global issue that is intrinsically tied to human well-being. By supporting and protecting high levels of biodiversity and the interacting ecological processes we build greater resistance and resilience to disturbances including climate change and ensure nature will continue to provide the requisite resources for sustaining life on earth.