Natural Climate Solutions
Weekly Briefing

Welcome to Nature4Climate's Weekly Briefing. This weekly newsletter summarises content from international media outlets (and our partner organisations) on stories, developments and events that relate to nature-based solutions to climate. Our editorial policy is to circulate articles and opinion pieces whether we agree or disagree with viewpoints represented. In this new version, we feature the week's top NCS related news stories and analyse themes in coverage.

If you received this email and wish to subscribe please click below.

Tree planting in the UK nations from 1976-2019. (Source: Forestry Commission and Chart by Carbon Brief using Highcharts)
From Summits to Stimulus
Of course, COVID-19 continues to dominate international media coverage; within this, there has been a large amount of coverage and commentary around the risks and opportunities associated with the economic stimulus that governments are expected to be launching in the coming weeks and months. The Guardian reports on environmental campaigners' calls for governments to tie any bailouts for the aviation and cruise industries to increased climate action. Climate Home reports on comments from the UN Secretary-General saying the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals should guide recovery beyond the stopgap measures needed to combat the virus. Climate Home also interviews Faith Birol, the head of the International Energy Agency, who says stimulus offers a "historic opportunity" to accelerate the energy transitions. WRI publishes a blog making the economic and health cases for a green recovery package. Bloomberg and We Mean Business have released similar pieces. Business Green's James Murray argues that any silver linings can only be contemplated "once the tempest is safely navigated." In contrast, writing in the New Yorker, Bill McKibben says "one of the best chances to make some positive use of the coronavirus may be passing swiftly" as the U.S. Government decides on relief spending. Specific focus has also been on the EU Green Deal. EURACTIV reports that the European Commission is having to re-order its priorities in the face of the corona crisis, with "non-essential initiatives like the biodiversity strategy and the farm-to-fork strategy likely to be delayed by several weeks. The Guardian has published an editorial calling for the EU to stick with the plan for the Green New Deal. And the new Planetary Emergency Partnership has realeased a similar call in EURACTIV

But what about nature? N4C's Lucy Almond argues that nature-based solutions must be included, alongside energy transition, in the economic relief and stimulus discussions because of the benefits they offer building more resilient economies and societies. Dozens of environmental groups have released "5 Principles for Just COIVD-19 Relief and Spending," which includes a call for increased support for restoring wetlands and forests and regenerative agriculture.  Seven NGOs have written to the Commission outlining priorities for a coherent and comprehensive response to the COVID-19 crisis, which include adopting ambitious, legally binding targets and commitments to address the alarming loss of nature."

Restoring soils could remove up to ‘5.5bn tonnes’ of greenhouse gases every year   
Carbon Brief, Daisy Dunne, 16 March
Carbon Brief dives into research from The Nature Conservancy and Conservation International that finds replenishing and protecting the world's soil carbon stores could help to offset up to 5.5bn tonnes of greenhouse gases every year. Nature Sustainability hosts the scientific paper written as part of the research project. 
'Tip of the iceberg': is our destruction of nature responsible for Covid-19?  

The Guardian, John Vidal, 18 March
The Guardian looks into the connections between human expansion into previously wild natural habitats through deforestation and the spread of diseases such as the Coronavirus. Covering Climate Now shares the perspective of indigenous leaders who have warned that the destruction of nature would lead to the emergence of new illnesses. Newspaper24 interviews several scientists who are experts on the matter of viruses transitioning from wildlife to humans who are seeing increasing contact. World Economic Forum runs an opinion piece from the Head of Sustainability Risk at Zurich Insurance Group on the growing risks of biodiversity loss to combat pandemics. The World Bank's Senior Environmental Specialist in its Beijing Office shares further information on how the 'wildlife trade' and destruction of nature increases the risk of further diseases. Further coverage is found in the New York TimesCNN and Thomson Reuters Foundation.
In-depth Q&A: How will tree planting help the UK meet its climate goals?   

Carbon Brief, Josh Gabbatiss, 18 March
Carbon Brief dives into the meaningful questions behind the feasibility and potential impact of reforestation efforts in the United Kingdom. The Guardian covers the controversial opinion of John Healey, professor of forest sciences at Bangor University, who claims to truly meet reforestation and carbon sequestration targets the UK should plant millions of non-native species.
5.5 Billion Tonnes / Year

The amount of carbon dioxide that could be sequestered every year if the world restored and protected our global carbon stores.

Featured Opinion/Commentary
Five (or six) solutions for saving the world’s forests and restoring landscapes
FOREST NEWS, by Robert Nasi and Tony Simons, 20 March
"The world needs transformative scientific, development, business and financial partnerships to undertake the large-scale transformations needed and achieve the global targets so onerously worked out over the years." The authors of this piece lay out five areas where investments can have meaningful impact on revitalizing forests.

Urgent changes needed to save forests for the benefit of us all
Thomson Reuters Foundation, by Hiroto Mitsugi, 21 March
The Assistant Director-General of the Forestry Department at the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization shares why the theme of this year's International Day of Forests had the theme "Forests and Biodiversity: Too precious to lose."

Media Round-Up

Natural Climate Solutions and Nature4Climate Partners

New research centre on nature-based solutions for climate change to open in NUS by end-2020
The Straits Times, by Audrey Tan, 20 March

The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
Yale Climate Connections, by Bruce Lieberman, 19 March

Human Nature—Visualized
The Nature Conservancy, 5 March


Five of the World's Largest Banks Are Pouring Billions Into the Amazon's Destruction
Gizmodo UK, by Dharna Noor, 19 March

Lungs of Earth now speeding to destruction
China Daily Asia, by Karl Wilson and Sergio Held, 20 March

Amazon road-building projects would result in deforestation of 2.4 million hectares, by Bob Yirka, 17 March

'Our House is On Fire' - Ethical Corporation March Issue on Deforestation Risks
Ethical Corporation, March

'The forest is everything': indigenous tribes in India battle to save their home from Adani – in pictures
The Guardian, by Brian Cassey, 19 March

Wildfires plummeted in 2019. Experts say it won't last
E&E News, by Thomas Frank, 18 March


The Time for Action Is Now, the Time for Trees Is Now
WBCSD, by Jeremy Manion, 18 March

The good news about reforestation efforts
Deutsche Welle, by Martin Kuebler, 21 March

Tree planting to promote environmental conservation and improve livelihoods in Burkina Faso
UN Environment Programme, 20 March

South Sudan to plant 100 million trees to fight deforestation
News Ghana, 22 March

Sustainable Forestry

Construction emissions: “mass wood” prototypes halve CO2, rapid modular deployment, 18 stories
EnergyPost, by David Chandler, 18 March

10 promising European forestry tech startups to watch in 2020
EU-Startups, by Iulia Baidac, 19 March

Agriculture and Soil Health

Cargill & Imaflora to support cocoa producers by restoring degraded farmland
Confectionary News, by Jenny Eagle, 23 March

Boost yields and lower inputs
Farmers Weekly, by Annette Scott, 19 March

Zimbabwe farmers turn to smart solutions to fight climate change
Al Jazeera, by Farai Matiashe, 22 March


The wonder trees that nurture marine biodiversity
UN Environment Programme, 22 March

Scotland’s Seaweed Showdown
Hakai Magazine, by Cathleen O’Grady, 17 March

Coastal Blue Carbon From Planted Mangroves Holds Promise
The Good Men Project, 18 March

New Science, Research, Policy and Tools

The role of soil carbon in natural climate solutions
Nature Communications, March
Mitigating climate change requires clean energy and the removal of atmospheric carbon. This research quantifies the role of soil carbon in natural (land-based) climate solutions and review some of the project design mechanisms available to tap into the potential. 

Global Carbon Markets Can More than Meet Civil Aviation Demand
Ecosystem Marketplace, March
Global airlines are committed to delivering “carbon neutral growth” in flights between countries, even if international air traffic doubles or triples, as some are projecting. A new analysis by Ecosystem Marketplace finds that current proposals under the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation do just that.

FAO leads the way to clearer peatland mapping and monitoring
Smart Water Magazine, March
To avoid their degradation and effectively plan their restoration, peatlands should be urgently mapped and monitored. To help member states on this complex task, FAO today launched Peatland mapping and monitoring, a practical publication full of accessible technical information about the world's peatlands and recommendations on how to manage these special ecosystems.

Climatic and edaphic controls over tropical forest diversity and vegetation carbon storage
Nature Communications, March
A better understanding of the underlying factors controlling tropical forest diversity and vegetation carbon storage could be critical for predicting tropical carbon sink strength in response to projected climate change. This research suggests that local heterogeneity in resource availability and plant functional composition should be considered to improve projections of tropical forest ecosystem functioning under future scenarios.

Supersizing sustainability in savannas
Nature Communications, March
Increasing pressure for communities to conserve wildlife in mixtures with livestock faces scepticism about whether such management is sustainable. The study by Sitters et al. shows that wildlife–livestock coexistence may be sustainable, but only if megaherbivores are included.

Negative effects of cattle on soil carbon and nutrient pools reversed by megaherbivores
Nature Communications, March
Wild herbivore populations are declining in many African savannas, which is related to replacement by livestock (mainly cattle) and the loss of megaherbivores. Cattle presence decreased total soil carbon and nitrogen pools, while the presence of megaherbivores (mainly elephants) increased these pools and even reversed the negative effects of cattle over time.

The Duality of Reforestation Impacts on Surface and Air Temperature
American Geophysical Union, March
Recently, attention has focused on understanding if reforestation also offers a direct temperature cooling benefit. Using a case study, researchers found the air cooling effect of forests is not a large as the surface cooling effect, it is still on the order of 2‐3 celsius during summer daytime periods ‐ times when the need for climate adaptation strategies are particularly pressing.

The Global Flood Protection Benefits of Mangroves
Nature Sustainability, March
Coastal flood risks are rising rapidly. We provide high-resolution estimates of the economic value of mangroves forests for flood risk reduction every 20 km worldwide. Many 20-km coastal stretches particularly those near cities receive more than $US 250 million annually in flood protection benefits from mangroves.


CERES - Digital Investors Summit on Climate Risk
Dates: 23-27 March

WEBINAR: Introduction to CDP Forests disclosure
Date: 24 March
Host: CDP

WEBINAR: Can Planting Trees Fix the Climate? The Role of Forestry in the Climate Solutions Portfolio
Date: 25 March
Host: Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment

WEBINAR: Soy-Driven Deforestation in Brazil: Which Countries, Sectors and Companies Source From the Cerrado?
Date: 26 March
Host: Chain Reaction Research

WEBINAR SERIES: Using the UN Biodiversity Lab to Support National Conservation and Sustainable Development Goals
Dates: 26 March, 31 March, 7 April
Host: NASA

WEBINAR: Payments for Ecosystem Services to support Forest and Landscape Restoration
Date: 26 March
Host: FAO and WWF Landscape Finance Lab

International Conference on Human-Wildlife Conflict and Coexistence
Location: Oxford, UK

Africa Climate Week 2020
Location: Kampala, Uganda 

WEBINAR: Tribal Forests and Forest Carbon, Activity and Interest in North America
Date: 1 April
Host: Forest-Climate Working Group, Michigan State University

WEBINAR: Aligning Deforestation-free Commitments and Capital Flows for Progress in Producer Countries
Date: 14 April
Host: UNEP Finance Initiative

WEBINAR: REDD+ Learning Session: Benefit Sharing at Scale: Tools and Good Practices for Results-Based Land Use Programs
Date: 15 April
Host: REDD+

Earth Optimism Summit
Dates: 23-26 April

The Tree Conference
Dates: 2 May
Location: Cambridge, UK

Please reach out with any feedback or thoughts on this version of the newsletter. If you want to be removed from the distribution list, please use the unsubscribe link below. Please join the conversation #NatureNow @nature4climate or get in touch.

Lucy Almond, Director and Chair of Nature4Climate
Copyright © 2020 Nature4Climate, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp