‘Conserving Wildlife Can Help Mitigate Climate Change’ – IFAW


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DT Correspondent

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) will be present at the upcoming COP28 in Dubai, urging governments and stakeholders to recognize the crucial role of wildlife conservation in addressing the urgent challenges posed by the climate crisis.

The 28th Conference of Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) will assess progress towards the Paris Agreement’s objective of limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

As the world veers off course and approaches 3°C of warming, there is a growing understanding of the significance of nature in combating climate change.

In a communique on November 30, IFAW emphasised the need to include wild animals as part of nature-based solutions to effectively address the climate crisis.

“IFAW believes we can still reach the Paris Agreement goals but only if we halt and reverse nature loss.

“Wild animals are some of our most powerful allies, driving ecosystem processes that capture carbon from the atmosphere – we need to harness this role as a nature-based solution to the climate crisis,” said Simon Addison, IFAW’s Climate Change Adviser.

By protecting existing carbon stores in nature and aiding in the absorption and storage of additional carbon, wild animals have been shown to have significant potential in mitigating climate change.

Scientific evidence suggests that safeguarding and restoring populations of specific species and species groups, such as marine fish, whales, sharks, grey wolves, wildebeest, sea otters, musk oxen, African forest elephants, and American bison, could collectively capture over 95 percent of the required annual CO2 amount to stay below the 1.5°C warming threshold.

However, this potential has not received sufficient recognition in previous climate COP discussions.

“Restoring wild animal populations offers an inspirational vision and practical action we can take to combat climate change today,” says Addison.

By highlighting the importance of wildlife conservation and the role of wild animals in climate mitigation, IFAW aims to shape discussions and actions at COP28 to ensure that nature-based solutions are given the recognition they deserve in addressing the climate crisis.

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