Nature Based Solutions for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation

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Quick summary: Explore the transformative potential of nature-based solutions for climate change mitigation and adaptation. Discover how harnessing the power of nature can provide sustainable and resilient solutions to combat climate change. Dive into our blog and uncover innovative strategies, case studies, and practical insights for building a more sustainable future. Join the movement towards nature-based solutions today.

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Nature-based solutions hold immense potential for climate mitigation and adaptation, offering a powerful and sustainable approach to combat challenges posed by climate change. By harnessing the power of nature’s inherent resilience and ecosystem services, these solutions offer a range of benefits from carbon sequestration, natural flood control to biodiversity conservation and improved livelihoods.

Climate crisis has increased 40% over the last 20 years and most of the people globally are bearing the brunt of the climate and nature crisis.  

Key takeaways 

  • Nature and Climate Crisis 
  • What are Nature based solutions 
  • Role of NBS in Net Zero 
  • Types of nature based solutions 
  • TraceX DMRV Solutions 

Climate Crisis 

Humans are the main cause of climate change. We burn fossil fuels, chop down trees, causing global warming, thereby disrupting the entire ecosystem. A warmer world even by half a degree can put agriculture, water supply and health at risk. The shift in temperatures are not just thresholds, every rise in warming is detrimental to the planet. The overall ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is inadequate. Even if the pledges and plans to cut emissions go as per schedule, global emissions will still keep growing under the present trends. It is not too late to slow the pace of climate change and avert the impacts. We need to act today or else the window of opportunity to keep the temperatures within limits will be shut totally. 

We need to deal with climate change as it is a key to ensuring sustainable  development and safeguarding economic growth. Inaction will be costlier than acting now. Emission reductions are required to keep global temperatures from increasing and reducing its impacts and moving towards a climate-resilient path. Let us not forget that half of the world’s GDP depends on sectors of agriculture, forestry and fisheries and hence needs sustainable use of resources. 

Every fraction of a degree matters and what we do between now and 2030 will determine whether we can slow global warming to avoid the worst impacts. 

Plants naturally absorb and store carbon. Managing farmlands and forests and protecting natural habitats can store billions of tons of this living carbon. 

Natural Solution to Climate Change 

Nature stores carbon dioxide and plays a major role in regulating climate change. We can unleash nature’s full potential by adoption of regenerative practices planting trees, conserving forests and wetlands and thereby take climate action. 

How does nature help in tackling climate crisis? 

According to IPCC, managed and natural terrestrial ecosystems absorb one-third of anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Nature can help in mitigation and adapting to the  worst effects of climate change and play an important role in meeting the goal sof Paris agreement. 

According to UNEP report, humanity is using about 1.6 times the amount of services that nature can provide sustainably. 

Conservation alone will not help in preventing the collapse of the ecosystem. Nature based solutions are an opportunity to address these problems. Storage of carbon, ensuring food and water and protecting against impacts of global warming can assure a nature positive future.

What are Nature based Solutions? 

Nature based solutions are a set of activities that harness the power of nature to protect and restore ecosystems while safeguarding the wellbeing of mankind and biodiversity. Switching to agriculture practices like crop rotation, no-tillage that support healthy soils, restoring coastal wetlands, regrowing of forests help in capturing carbon from the atmosphere and sequestering it in plants and soils. They provide cleaner air and water and increased biodiversity. Combined with innovations in clean energy and other decarbonization efforts, nature based solutions can offer good solutions in the response to climate change. 

Do you know that Nature based solutions can provide up to 37% of emission reductions needed by 2030 to keep the global temperature rise under 2˚C? 

The idea behind nature based solutions are that when ecosystems are healthy and well managed, they help in reducing GHG emissions, provide clean air and water and increased food security. They are a win-win for both people and nature. 

Role of NBS solutions in science-based net-zero strategies

The rise of carbon and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is not solely contributed to energy, industrial and agriculture activities. It is also linked to degradation of carbon-rich soils and terrestrial ecosystems.

IPCC estimates that approximately 13% of human caused emissions result from deforestation and changes in land-use. This loss of nature not only contributes to greater carbon buildup in the atmosphere but also diminishes the capacity of natural systems to absorb atmospheric carbon.

Given this impact, the role of nature becomes important in climate mitigation approaches. Safeguarding, reviving and augmenting ecosystems enhance the ability to extract carbon from the atmosphere which is critical for effective climate mitigation strategies.

Types of Nature Based Solutions 

According to the Exponential Roadmap for Natural Climate Solutions, to meet climate goals we need to restore 350 million hectares, protect 45 million hectares of forests and wetlands, and adopt more sustainable practices in at least two billion hectares of working land.

Reforestation and Afforestation

Forests are the best examples of nature-based solutions. Forests house 80 % of world’s biodiversity and provide clean air and water and protect against erosion and landslides. They regulate the climate by absorbing carbon from the atmosphere. The Amazon forests are large reservoirs of carbon sequestering huge amounts of carbon in tree biomass and soils. Deforestation and degradation contribute to 13 % of global carbon emissions and we can significantly reduce this warding off the worst impacts of global warming.

Which is Best for Environmental Restoration? 
Dive Deeper into Afforestation vs. Reforestation: 

Carbon Sequestration through tree planting

Tree planting is a vital nature-based solution for carbon sequestration which involves the process of capturing and storing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in trees and vegetation.

  • Photosynthesis- Trees absorb CO2 during photosynthesis and the carbon is stored in the tree’s biomass- trunk, branches, leaves and roots.
  • Biomass accumulation- As trees grow they continue to accumulate carbon in their biomass.
  • Soil Carbon- Leaves and organic matter that fall to the forest floor create a layer of humus which enhances soil’s carbon storage capacity.
  • Long-term storage- While trees do release carbon when they die and decay, old growth forests with their dense biomass store carbon for extended periods. Sustainable forest management practices can maintain this carbon storage.

Restoring Degraded Ecosystems

Restoring degraded ecosystem involves reviving ecosystems that have been damaged or degraded due to human activities such as deforestation, mining , agriculture or urbanization.

  • Enhanced Carbon Sequestration- Restoring degraded lands through reforestation/afforestation increases carbon sequestration. New vegetation captures and stores carbon, helping to offset emissions.
  • Reestablishing ecosystems- Healthy ecosystems are more resilient to climate change impacts. They regulate temperature, water flow and nutrient cycles, creating a balanced environment to withstand extreme events.
  • Prevent Erosion and Flooding- Restored ecosystems have stronger root systems that prevent soil erosion and mitigate flood risks. This also protect communities and prevents sediments from reaching water bodies.
  •  Habitat Restoration- Ecosystem restoration benefits biodiversity by providing habitats for several species.
  • Community Benefits- Restoring ecosystems provide support to local communities through improved water availability, food security and livelihood opportunities.

Discover the Transformative Power of Regenerative Agriculture!

Dive into Our Case Study on Land Restoration with TraceX DMRV Solutions.

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Sustainable Agriculture and Agroforestry

Regenerative agriculture practices like cover crops, crop rotation, no-tillage help in soil restoration and regeneration of tree and vegetation. This helps in preventing soil erosion and also in helping to absorb more emissions. Climate smart agriculture enables farmers to retain carbon during crop production. This also includes agroforestry and livestock management.

Agroforestry, an ancient land practice has gained modern relevance as a nature-based solution to meeting the ecosystems and livelihoods demands. The practice offers multiple ecosystem benefits by integrating trees with crop and pasture lands in different spatial and temporal arrangements. Agroforestry mixes trees with other agriculture land-use like field crops and livestock. Nurturing existing shade trees and planting new ones amidst crops can increase carbon storage and create a protective canopy to regulate temperature and humidity. 

Enhance Your Farm’s Sustainability Today! 
Discover the Benefits of Agroforestry: 

Coastal Ecosystem Protection

Many coastal and marine habitats including mangroves, seagrass and saltmarshes are rich in carbon and have high rates of carbon sequestration.

Mangrove forests sequester carbon 2 to 4x faster than mature tropical forests. About 67% of mangrove, 35% of saltmarshes and 29% of seagrass meadows have already been lost. It is critical that these carbon stores are protected. Restoration of coastal and marine ecosystems can sequester large amounts of carbon. Mangrove Forests along coastlines are protective barriers against soil erosion and storms and are important for sustainable fishing.

They filter water, provide food resources and timber to the coastal communities. Conserving and restoring these ecosystems increase the climate resilience and help in protecting people and the planet. These are the wetland related practices that focus on conserving and restoring peatlands and coastal wetlands. 

Wetland Restoration

Peatlands play a crucial role as remarkably efficient carbon sinks. The absence of oxygen under anoxic conditions prevents decomposition of organic matter effectively locking away carbon for long periods. Despite covering only 3% of earth’s land area, peatlands hold a 21% of global soil organic carbon. However, 10% of peatlands have fallen victim to degradation due to drainage or mining, causing them to release the stored carbon. Restoring peatlands through rewetting transforms carbon sources back to carbon sinks presenting a sound strategy for mitigating climate change. This not only aids biodiversity but also offers potential for sustainable income through peatland  agriculture

Benefits of Nature based Solutions. 

  • They contribute to achieving social and human development goals including environmental protection, climate change and sustainable food production.
  • These solutions can be implemented on land and in oceans and thus save biodiversity. 
  • They deliver tangible and traceable adaptation benefits that have a positive impact on society. 
  • They bring down carbon emissions and improve resilience to climate risks. 
  • These solutions address the climate and biodiversity crisis in a synergetic and cost-effective manner. 

Biodiversity Conservation and Ecosystem Service

Biodiversity Conservation plays a pivotal role in maintaining the resilience of ecosystems, ensuring the ability to withstand disturbances and  adapt to changing conditions. Safeguarding diverse plant and animal species helps to maintain intricate balance of ecosystems.

NBS enhances ecosystem services by promoting the restoration and preservation of biodiversity. As these ecosystems thrive, their capacity to provide clean air, water, pollination and climate regulation gets strengthened. This benefits both the environment and human livelihoods.

Prioritizing biodiversity conservation with NBS initiatives fosters ecosystem resilience and contributes to the survival of endangered species which form an integral component of a sustainable and interconnected planet.

Quantifying Carbon Capture through NBS

Quantifying the effectiveness of carbon capture through NBS involves assessing the amount of carbon stored in ecosystems over time. Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) systems accurately measure and assess the amount of carbon sequestered by various natural ecosystems. MRV systems play a critical role in tracking the effectiveness of NBS initiatives and ensuring their contribution to carbon mitigation goals.

MRV systems use a combination of data collection methods such as satellite imagery, ground-based measurements and modelling techniques to monitor carbon stocks over time. MRV systems provide transparency and accountability ensuring that the benefits of NBS projects are backed by credible data. Robust MRV systems enable aggregation of carbon capture data on a large scale contributing to global efforts to address climate change through nature-based solutions

Discover how Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) leverage advanced Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) systems to accelerate our journey towards achieving net zero emissions. Uncover the power of data-driven transparency and accountability in realizing meaningful carbon sequestration.

Know More »

How do TraceX Solutions Drive Nature-based Solutions? 

TraceX DMRV solutions play a pivotal role in driving Nature-based carbon projects for climate action by providing advanced tools for monitoring, reporting, and verification. With real-time data collection and analysis capabilities, TraceX enables organizations to accurately quantify carbon sequestration and emission reduction efforts in natural ecosystems such as forests, wetlands, and grasslands. By ensuring transparency and integrity throughout the project lifecycle, TraceX helps instill trust among stakeholders and investors, facilitating the successful implementation of nature-based solutions to combat climate change. Through streamlined processes and enhanced data accuracy, TraceX empowers initiatives aimed at restoring ecosystems, preserving biodiversity, and mitigating the impacts of global warming, thus contributing significantly to global climate action efforts. 

Conclusion

Nature-based solutions offer a promising and holistic approach to combat climate change and foster resilience in the face of its impact. Harnessing the power of nature, we can address the root causes of climate change while providing co-benefits like improved water management, biodiversity conservation and enhanced livelihoods for local communities. 

It is crucial for individuals, organizations and governments to embrace and invest in nature-based solutions as an integral part of our climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. We can create a more sustainable and resilient future for ourselves and generations to come by working hand in hand with nature. 

Let us ensure a thriving and harmonious coexistence between humans and the natural world.

Embrace the transformative potential of nature-based solutions and embark on a collective journey towards a climate resilient planet.

Get in touch with our Sustainability expert »

Frequently Asked Questions

Nature-based solutions (NBS) are sustainable approaches that utilize natural processes and ecosystems to address climate change challenges.

Nature-based solutions harness the power of natural ecosystems to absorb and store carbon dioxide, reducing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. Trees, plants, and other natural systems capture carbon during photosynthesis, promoting carbon sequestration.

TraceX solutions provide accurate data and insights that help organizations identify suitable areas for nature-based projects. Through data-driven analysis, companies can assess the most effective locations for tree planting, wetland restoration, and other NBS initiatives, maximizing their impact on carbon sequestration.

Yes, TraceX solutions can seamlessly integrate with an organization’s existing sustainability strategies and goals. By providing a unified platform for carbon accounting, reporting, and NBS project management, TraceX facilitates the alignment of NBS initiatives with broader sustainability objectives.
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