In Europe, The Nature Conservancy is developing partnerships with governments and other non-governmental organizations to advance three main focus areas:
We support a comprehensive global climate change treaty that covers all major emitters, including the United States and emerging economies like India and China.
Since the Kyoto climate summit in 1997, the European Union has been a leader on international climate change and advanced a comprehensive agreement. This treaty should establish a global carbon market and include credits for avoided deforestation. Avoiding deforestation and thereby protecting our last great forests must be at the center of any future climate change strategy. Forests are essential as carbon sinks and contain the highest biodiversity of all land based habitat types.
Climate change is already happening and will impact mostly vulnerable and poor developing nations. Adaptation to climate change can best be achieved if natural ecosystems, like coral reefs that protect against sea level rise, or mountainous forests that prevent flooding, are being protected. We will therefore advocate for European governments to increase public funding, build a constituency and strengthen the public policy environment for climate change adaptation.
Europe is the world’s leading source in funding for sustainable development. Several new government programs allocate new and growing resources to climate change mitigation and adaptation. Other conservation objectives, such as the protection of marine and freshwater habitats, as well as carbon storing ecosystems and ecosystem based adaptation can also advance our global conservation objectives.
The European Union also lends support to the United Nation’s Convention on Biological Diversity, an international treaty signed by the majority of countries the Conservancy works wit . Several European governments, including Germany, Spain and Finland, have allocated new financial resources to the CBD’s Life Web Initiative, an innovative financing mechanism to support protected areas worldwide.
In partnership with European governments, development agencies and NGOs, we will also invest in concrete, high profile conservation projects. Such projects include forest carbon projects in the world’s remaining tropical rainforests, measures to help small island states to adapt to climate change by protecting coral reefs and mangrove forests or environmental tourism projects in a national park. The Nature Conservancy believes, that parks will only survive if people have an economic future which and can build sustainable livelihoods.