In recent years, scientists have repeatedly sounded the alarm on how the biodiversity breakdown and the climate emergency are mutually reinforcing each other in a downward spiral. Climate change threatens biodiversity and impacts ecosystem functions, heralding an unprecedented environmental crisis with up to one million species on the brink of extinction. Environmental stress may also exacerbate existing insecurity and tensions between populations over already scarce natural resources, triggering conflict, displacement, migration, and additional humanitarian and development needs.
Decision-makers need to block this negative feedback loop. But it is a complex challenge that takes in environmental, economic and social issues like resource politics. It means improving the protection of our natural capital such as water, forests, clean air, flora and fauna, which provide services like water catchment, erosion control and crop pollination.
Some suggest promoting indigenous and locally-adapted plants and animals as well as the selection and multiplication of varieties and autochthonous races adapted or resistant to adverse conditions. But are these so-called nature-based solutions the best way to address climate change and protect the planet?