Enhancing synergies between biodiversity and climate policy

River in a rainforest

IKI funded thematic papers series explores legal aspects, scientific findings and joint implementation options to overcome siloed approaches in biodiversity and climate policy.

There is growing recognition that the global climate and biodiversity crises are highly interlinked. Climate change has increasingly severe impacts on ecosystems and is among the main drivers of biodiversity loss. Without resolving the climate crisis, restoring biodiversity will not be possible. Furthermore, actions and policies that aim to mitigate climate change and adapt to its effects can have negative impacts on biodiversity. In turn, biodiversity conservation and its sustainable use can help mitigate climate change by enhancing ecosystems’ capacity for carbon capture and storage and help adapt to it through increased ecosystem resilience.

This high degree of interdependence causes complex interplays, both at the ecosystem and at the policy-making levels. However, policy efforts addressing both challenges in an integrated manner remain limited. Few effective and practical examples exist to show how to make the best use of synergies and avoid trade-offs with respect to both policy design and implementation.

The new thematic paper series “Synergies Between Biodiversity and Climate Policy Frameworks” funded by the IKI aims to enhance the understanding and policy uptake of synergistic approaches. It covers legal frameworks, latest scientific findings and implementation aspects related to nature-based solutions, multilevel governance and joint financing.

A comprehensive look at synergies

There is ample scientific evidence for pursuing synergistic responses to the biodiversity and climate crises. As coordinated policy responses are still scarce, the paper series explores the following options in detail:

  • Strengthening legal tools and policy mechanisms that can support synergies between the CBD and the UNFCCC (e.g., the Rio Conventions Joint Liaison Group) and aim for transformative instead of incremental changes via the development and implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions, National Adaptation Plans and National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (Thematic Paper 1).
  • Bringing the science, policy and practice spheres closer together to ensure strategies and goals are adapted to the local context and stakeholder needs (Thematic Paper 2).
  • Promoting and deploying nature-based solutions (NbS), making sure they deliver outcomes for both biodiversity and climate and managing potential trade-offs and conflicts (Thematic Paper 3).
  • Reorganising governance processes for more and better inclusion of marginalised stakeholders and representation of Indigenous Peoples’ and local communities’ views in climate policy and action, resulting in equitable, effective and responsive governance (Thematic Paper 4).
  • Including local stakeholders meaningfully to enhance and strengthen joint planning and implementation at subnational and local levels – aiming for a well-performing multi-level governance system (Thematic Paper 5).
  • Boosting cooperation and strengthening financing for synergistic approaches, including collaboration across UNFCCC and CBD financial mechanisms and joint mobilization of resources, better harmonization of donor funding and greater involvement of the private sector (Thematic Paper 6).

Protected area solutions for biodiversity and climate change mitigations

The options outlined above are illustrated by practical examples, one of which is the project Protected area solutions for biodiversity and climate change mitigations funded by the IKI. In Peru, the project focuses its efforts on partnering with indigenous peoples and local communities. The forests of the Peruvian Amazon are among the most biodiverse in the world and home to a large indigenous population. However, they face growing deforestation and degradation as a result of natural resource extraction, increasing droughts and floods, and historical processes of colonization and infrastructure investments.

The Amarakaeri Communal Reserve was created on the initiative of 10 indigenous communities to conserve their ancestral land along with a multitude of ecosystem services, including water, food, medicine, and shelter to reduce their vulnerability to climate change, meet their livelihood needs, and diversify economic opportunities. Over the lifespan of the programme, community members became gradually involved, growing confidence in the proposed activities. This NbS provides indigenous communities with sustainable livelihoods, increases their adaptive capacity to climate change, and ensures the conservation of approximately 500,000 hectares of high conservation-value forest (read more in Thematic Paper 3).

The IKI pilots innovative finance approaches

Staying in Peru and zooming in on financial mechanisms for positive biodiversity and climate outcomes, the IKI supports the Peruvian Government in improving the conditions for investments based on the sustainable use of biodiversity. The traditional capital market associates investments in biodiversity- and climate-friendly business models with high risks and does not yet reward positive social and environmental impacts of companies sufficiently.

The goal of this innovative project is to increase private investments in biodiversity-friendly business models, thus improving the sustainable use and conservation of natural resources – with positive outcomes for nature, climate and people. One lever is the improvement of public incentive systems to encourage the private sector to invest in biodiversity-friendly companies. Another lever is the identification of scalable, finance-ready business models, combined with matchmaking between companies and investors (read more in Thematic Paper 6).


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