IFAW Highlights Nature-Based Solutions as Top Priority at COP28


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DT Correspondent

Harare: – As global temperatures continue to rise, this year’s COP28 global climate conference, scheduled from November 30 to December 12, is set to tackle the pressing issue of climate change.

The conference comes at a time when the world is experiencing record-breaking levels of global warming, leading to extreme temperatures and cyclones.

In Africa, the impact of climate change has been particularly severe, with the ongoing El Niño weather phenomenon predicted to cause severe droughts that will persist until the first quarter of 2025, according to the latest forecast by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET) Southern Africa.

As COP28 commences in Dubai, world leaders will engage in discussions on key issues aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change.

Among the proposed solutions, the International Fund For Animal Welfare (IFAW) emphasizes the importance of nature-based efforts in combating climate change, with a belief that animals can play a central role in the solution.

IFAW Zimbabwe landscape director Philip Kuvawoga highlighted the significance of conserving populations of keystone species to enhance the carbon capture and storage capacity in landscapes.

“Biodiversity loss and climate change are twin crises that the world is currently facing.

“We are building a business case for nature, biodiversity, and wildlife as solutions to the climate crisis.

“For the first time, we will be hosting six sessions at COP28 focusing on the role of nature and biodiversity as means to combat the climate crisis.”

Globally, wildlife populations have declined by nearly 70 percent in the last 50 years.

Restoring ecosystems and addressing major threats are critical steps in enhancing the carbon sequestration ability of landscapes.

A 2022 report by the World Wildlife Fund revealed a staggering loss of 69 percent of mammal, fish, bird, reptile, and amphibian populations in less than 50 years.

IFAW will advocate for a greater emphasis on nature as a core tool in combating climate change.

“Climate financing mechanisms have been ongoing, and billions of dollars have been pledged to various finance mechanisms. Those resources are available for us to tap into, and as a country like Zimbabwe, we need to create an enabling environment and build capacities to access those finances,” notes Kuvawoga.

According to wildlife advocacy organisations, halting biodiversity loss and accelerating the implementation of nature-based solutions, such as wildlife and ecosystem protection, must be top priorities at COP28.

Experts agree that wildlife conservation, biodiversity protection, and other nature-based solutions are evidence-based approaches vital for addressing the challenges posed by climate change.

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