Kew Gardens promises to focus more on nature-based climate solutions and biodiversity restoration

The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew presented plans to expand research and awareness regarding nature-based climate solutions and efforts to prevent Earth’s Sixth Mass Extinction.

Kew Royal Botanic Gardens in London is home to the world’s largest collection of living plants

Earlier this year, the organization released a manifesto for change to 2030, including commitments to achieve a net positive climate impact operationally and to improve communications and partnerships to address the dual climate crisis. and natural.

Kew’s five-year science strategy, released today (September 28), provides more information on how she will use her sites, activities, processes, partnerships, research and education programs to deliver her manifesto.

“Life on Earth is in danger,” the strategy says. “Never before have so many challenges manifested themselves so clearly and intensely. “

According to WWF’s Living Planet 2020 report, animal populations have declined by an average of 68% since 1970. Drivers of biodiversity loss include land use change, invasive species, overexploitation, pollution and climate change ; indeed, the UN science bodies for nature and climate change advocate a more interconnected approach to solving these crises.

Kew’s strategy contains detailed plans to expand research on the protection and conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems, in a way that also improves climate resilience and improves human health and well-being. Kew promised “innovative research” in these areas.

There are also plans to further research the traits of plants and fungi, so scientists can better understand how they can be used in conservation and restoration projects, and plans to improve the collection and management of plants. digital data, that Kew’s collections can be more easily used externally for preservation. and education.

“The coming years will provide a closing window of opportunity for societies to protect and sustainably use the Earth’s remaining biodiversity and restore what we have degraded,” said Kew Scientific Director Professor Alexandre Antonelli.

“Science can provide answers to many of the challenges we face. The useful properties of plants and fungi are largely untapped and have the potential to bring equitable benefits to people and nature.

“In this new science strategy, RBG Kew presents an ambitious plan for how we can capitalize on our core assets – our unprecedented living and preserved collections, our world-class scientists and our cutting-edge data – to deliver real benefits to people. people, the environment and the scientific community over the next five years and beyond.

Government approach

Kew’s strategy comes after the United Nations General Assembly and ahead of the official opening of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, which will take place online from October 11-15. This event will include high-level segment discussions that will aim to produce a “Kunming Declaration” on a global biodiversity agreement. The declaration will be ratified after face-to-face negotiations, which were postponed to spring 2022 due to Covid-19.

A preliminary version of the Declaration has already been published by the UN. The overall objective is to protect at least 30% of terrestrial and marine habitats by 2030, when the loss of biodiversity must be halted.

Nations have collectively failed to meet the UN’s pre-2020 Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

In an effort to change that toll nationally, the UK government this week confirmed funding for a series of forest creation programs.

The UK Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) also announced this week its intention to allocate the £ 100million Biological Landscapes Fund, first announced in September 2019 and intended to preserve some of the most important sites in the world. biodiversity hot spots.

The sites expected to receive funding are Madagascar, the Andean Amazon, the Congo Basin, Mesoamerica, the Lower Mekong and the Kavango Zambezi Transboundary Conservation Area.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “The world’s animal population is collapsing faster than at any time in human history and valuable habitats and species are being lost from our planet.

“We are at a crossroads and we must act now – now – to turn the tide of this environmental crisis before it is too late.

“Our Biodiverse Landscapes fund will invest in six of the most ecologically critical landscapes, spanning 18 countries around the world, to help fight climate change and protect rare and endangered species. “

As COP26 approaches, edie has completed its Primer Report series which provides companies with everything they need to know on the five key themes of the discussions.

The Nature-Based Solutions Primer report is sponsored by the Woodland Trust and examines how critical nature-based solutions are, not only to responding to the climate crisis, but also to addressing the ecological degradation that is occurring. is exacerbating across the world.

Click here to download your free copy.

Sarah george

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