The CBD has also admitted that there is ample scientific evidence that climate change affects biodiversity. Climate change, according to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, is likely to become the dominant direct driver of biodiversity loss by the end of the century.
It is already forcing biodiversity to adapt by changing habitats, life cycles, or development of new physical traits. This, in turn, will affect vital ecosystem services for all humans, such as air and water purification, pollination and production of food, decomposition and nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration.
“The average global temperature from 1850 to 2005 increased by about 0.76°C. A further increase of 1.4°C to 5.8°C is projected by 2100. The global mean sea level rose by 12 to 22 cm in the last 100 years,” a CBD fact sheet released during COP-11 here said.
Conservation of habitats reduces the amount of greenhouse gasses released into the atmosphere and helps communities adapt to climate change.
The CBD has pointed out that levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are rapidly increasing, warming the earth’s surface and the lower atmosphere. Higher temperatures lead to climate change and damage to biodiversity.
Biodiversity can also help reduce the effects of climate change. Conserving healthy ecosystems can reduce the disastrous impacts of climate change such as flooding and storm surges while genetic resources can help people adapt to increased crop diseases.
“If we act now to reduce emissions and implement ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation, we can address the risk of species extinctions and limit damage to ecosystems. We can preserve intact habitats and reduce other threats to biodiversity, especially those sensitive to climate change; improve our understanding of the climate change-biodiversity relationship; and view biodiversity as a solution to climate change,” the statement added.
Started in year 2010, ‘Climate Himalaya’ initiative has been working on the mountain and climate related issues in the Himalayan region of South Asia. In the last two years this knowledge sharing portal has become one of the important references for the governments, research institutions, civil society groups and international agencies, those have work and interest in Himalayas. The Climate Himalaya team innovates on knowledge sharing, capacity building and climatic adaptation aspects in its focus countries like Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Climate Himalaya’s thematic areas of work are mountain ecosystem, water, forest and livelihood. Read>>