Experts: Climate change and nature loss magnify each other

Brown bear stares toward viewer while crouching amid green plants

Brown bear in Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska

Lisa Hupp, USFWS

Report says twin crises must be “tackled together”

Human-driven climate change and loss of nature mutually reinforce each other, and they must be addressed in tandem for people and wildlife to thrive. That’s the conclusion of a new report by 50 climate and biodiversity experts from around the world.

This short video summarizes some key recommendations from the report about how we can successfully resolve both crises:

The report, published by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), emphasizes that to ensure high quality of life, livable climate and healthy biodiversity, we should plan to protect at least 30 percent of all ocean and land surfaces. This is reflected in the movement to protect 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters, specifically, by the year 2030. The latter has been embraced as a first-of-its-kind national conservation goal by the Biden administration.

Key actions recommended in the new report include stopping the loss of lands that help absorb and store carbon and saving and restoring species-rich ecosystems.

The IPBES findings add to a growing body of science indicating that conserving an interconnected network of lands and waters will give us the best chance at curbing the worst effects of climate change; adapting to the shifts already happening; preserving wild nature amid an ongoing extinction crisis; and ensuring communities have access to clean air, water and outdoor spaces.

Expanding and protecting public lands here in the U.S.—including our parks, monuments, wildlife refuges and wilderness areas—create some of the biggest opportunities for meeting the challenge of these dual crises.

Read more: Biden admin releases 1st ever national conservation plan