By Jay Ritchlin

Summit leads a united effort to solve the double environmental crises of biodiversity loss and climate change

The world is facing twin environmental crises of biodiversity loss and climate change. Although these crises present unique challenges, they are deeply interrelated. Solutions that include both nature and climate present a powerful answer. They could account for a significant portion of long-term climate change mitigation needs and help deliver infrastructure services, improve quality of life and restore degraded habitats, immediately. This is an opportunity that we can’t afford to miss!

To harness this power, a group of leading nature and conservation organizations, including the David Suzuki Foundation, are hosting a national Nature-Based Climate Solutions Summit. Since last April, the David Suzuki Foundation has been collaborating with Canada’s leading nature and conservation organizations to map out ways to collectively pursue research, engage the public and shape public policy around nature-based solutions to climate change. The summit will examine the current state of play, explore existing projects, provide opportunities to collaborate and encourage continued government leadership. It will create a road map to advance natural climate solutions that provide climate, biodiversity and other co-benefits for people and nature throughout Canada.

We need a unified effort to develop nature-based climate solutions now. The astonishing natural landscapes and the towns and cities that form a key part of our Canadian heritage and identity are in deep trouble. Habitat is degrading and infrastructure is wearing out, and the resources to counter these problems are few. On the climate side, rising average global temperature is causing extreme weather to become more widespread and intense, making everything from urban water management to agriculture more challenging. We need nature-based climate solutions to adapt to this and start fixing it. These solutions are already a uniting feature across many of the David Suzuki Foundation’s projects, but to be truly effective we need them to reach beyond our organization.

We hope to share knowledge and tap into the growing constituency of non-governmental organizations, institutions, businesses, Indigenous nations, municipalities and provinces and territories that support federal action and investment.