April 6, 2017. Life / A Gift of Nature
Gerardo Ceballos, Ph.D, Nigel J.Collar, Dr. Tracy Farrel, Barbara Goettsch, Vance Martin, Roderic Mast, Jeffrey A. McNeely, Cristina Goetsch Mittermeier, Russell A. Mittermeier, Fabian Oberfeld, Trevor Sandwith, Dr. Jane Smart, Dr. Richard Sneider, Gregory S. Stone & Michael P. Totten
Across the globe, from the tropics to the poles, there is irrefutable evidence of the impacts of climate change. Catastrophic floods, droughts and wildfires which historically occurred just once a century or even every five hundred years, but now they inflict damage several times a decade. Our winters are shorter, our summers are hotter, Arctic sea ice is rapidly melting, storms are more intense.
While climate change took center stage over the past two decades in the media and around dinner table, the overall capacity to implement necessary changes has been insufficient.
When it comes to stabilizing the climate and preventing biodiversity loss, two main topics dominate the discussion: mitigation and adaptation. Mitigation focuses on reducing CO2 emissions through alternative energy options and preventing deforestation through forest conservation and restoration of degraded ecosystems. Adaptation addresses efforts to help people and natural systems cope by developing useful knowledge and predictive capacities.
In the past twenty years, there have been historic accomplishments in the pursuit of a broad variety of solutions. The 1998 adoption of the Kyoto Protocol was one such key milestone. Another accomplishment was the creation of the voluntary and mandatory global carbon trading markets which has grown to $65 billion by 2007.
We need to work together as a global community to ensure that the long-term sustainability of our planet is not undermined —both for ourselves and the many other creatures that share this world with us.
This is an excerpt from the CEMEX Conservation Series Books A GIFT OF NATURE (2012)
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