Climate change

Climate change is the most serious development and environment challenge of the 21st century. It undermines food and freshwater supplies and weakens flood regulation and shoreline protection. Flooding, droughts, storms and other forms of extreme weather are exacerbated by climate change.

Fortunately, nature can also offer helpful solutions.

Healthy natural systems such as forests, peatlands and wetlands are critical for absorbing carbon and helping us adapt to climate change impacts.

  • Healthy ecosystems such as forests, oceans and wetlands are critical for absorbing and storing carbon.

  • Planting and protecting nearly 12,000 hectares of mangroves in Viet Nam cost just over US$ 1 million but saved annual expenditures on dyke maintenance of US$ 7 million.

  • Coral reefs provide coastal protection and other valuable services worth billions of dollars per year.

Halting the loss and degradation of natural systems and promoting their restoration have the potential to contribute over a third of the total climate change mitigation that scientists say is required by 2030.

IUCN works with governments, UN agencies and industry to ensure that nature conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources contribute to reducing climate change and adapting to its impacts.


    Investment in carbon capture — lifeline to poor

    Tens of thousands of people around the world are getting greater access to food because of a new investment fund. IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) supports the Livelihoods Fund, which allows companies to offset their carbon footprint by investing in ecosystem restoration programmes that deliver lasting community benefits, including increased food security. …   | French | Spanish

    09 Sep 2012 | News story

    Ecological mangrove restoration - Indonesia 21

    Reviving nature's bounty in Indonesia

    In Indonesia IUCN is helping local communities to restore and sustainably manage their coastal resources and this is leading to improved livelihoods for many. …  

    14 May 2012 | News story

    Forest landscape restoration

    Restoring forest landscapes around the world: new videos show the way

    IUCN experts attending the 10th United Nations Forum on Forests this week are showcasing how countries can restore forests and generate many benefits for people, nature and the economy. …  

    10 Apr 2013 | Article

    Boat on a river

    Helping nature help us: conserve ecosystems, reduce the risk of disasters

    To help protect communities from disasters and tackle the adverse effects of climate change, a new IUCN project will show how healthy ecosystems can help reduce the risks and make livelihoods more resilient. …  

    15 Jan 2013 | News story

    Community mangrove restoration

    Momentum for nature’s ‘blue carbon’ solution to climate change

    Efforts to restore marine ecosystems that store vast amounts of carbon have received a boost with the launch of a new website that provides the latest blue carbon science and policy. …  

    02 Apr 2013 | News story