Natural Climate Solutions: Evaluating and Enhancing the Contribution of the ELP to Climate Change Mitigation

Project Context and Opportunity

The large-scale restoration of habitats including forests, peatlands and wetlands offers opportunities to tackle the twin crises of anthropogenic climate change and global biodiversity loss. It is therefore critical that restoration projects can maximise their climate change mitigation potential while still delivering biodiversity benefits. This project aims to understand how projects can achieve this, by quantifying the potential contribution of ELP projects to such ‘natural climate solutions’ – – and explore how this can be maximised, without compromising other project goals.

Demonstrating the contribution that ecosystem restoration can make towards climate change mitigation, in addition to the biodiversity benefits that are generated, can be used in policy advocacy for landscape restoration. The results of the project will be used to promote conservation-focused natural climate solutions at key upcoming UN conferences on climate change and biodiversityBy improving understanding of the links between climate change mitigation and ecosystem integrity, this project will provide a vital hook for advocating the use of large-scale restoration as a natural climate solution with policy makers.

This project will develop a tool to enable landscape restoration projects to assess their potential climate change mitigation benefits. This tool will quantify the carbon sequestration potential for each ELP project and identify how this can be optimised in line with biodiversity benefits. This will be achieved by quantifying the carbon sequestration and storage flowing from ELP restoration activities, set against a comparison of ‘business as usual’ for these landscapes. This project will provide important real-world examples of the climate change mitigation benefits that can come from the large-scale restoration of natural habitats, strengthening the case for increasing the capacity and funding available.

Project Aims

This project has the following three aims:

  1. To quantify the potential contribution of ELP projects to climate change mitigation and identify how each project could increase their carbon sequestration and storage benefits, while still achieving their core biodiversity goals;
  2. To review the suitability of existing tools to assess the climate change mitigation of landscape restoration projects and select one tool for which protocols will be developed to enable projects to apply it to their own landscapes;
  3. Develop advocacy materials to promote conservation-focused natural climate solutions at relevant climate and biodiversity events and conventions. This may include presentations at side events or consultations with country negotiators and NGOs.

Project Impact

This project hopes to achieve the following impacts:

  • Enhance the climate change mitigation impacts of landscape-scale restoration projects.
  • Demonstrate the climate change mitigation benefits of landscape restoration to policy makers and funders leading to increased support and resources for large-scale restoration in Europe.

Project Partners

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)
UNEP-WCMC
BirdLife Europe

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