Biodiversity and Climate Change

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (2019)

Biodiversity is as important as climate change and both must be treated with equal importance. Climate change is a major factor in the erosion of biodiversity. Changes in atmospheric temperature and precipitation, ocean acidification, sea-level rising, and the nature of some extreme events are affecting biodiversity and ecosystem services. In addition, climate change amplifies the effects of other factors such as habitat degradation, pollution, invasive species, overexploitation, population movements and migration. On the other hand, biodiversity loss accelerates climate change processes, with the ability of degraded ecosystems to assimilate and store CO2 tending to decrease, reducing the available adaptation options. The 7th IPBES Plenary held in UNESCO in April-May 2019 adopted the first Intergovernmental Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (negotiated approved by 132 countries), which clearly highlights these interactions (UNESCO is one of the four United Nations institutional partners together with UNEP, FAO and UNDP of IPBES). The consequences of global changes in climate, biodiversity and nature's contributions to people will be felt most acutely in lands that are home to large proportions of the world's indigenous populations and many of the world's poorest communities. UNESCO's commitment to biodiversity and climate change is a concern for its all sectors of programme. UNESCO's key message for the Summit: humanity has a global responsibility to address these two challenges and their interactions at the same time and with the same urgency.