The Nature Conservancy promotes nature-based solutions to address climate change and create a new forest economy.
Those of us inhabiting the planet right now find ourselves in a unique position: we are the first generation to feel the effects of climate change and the last one that can do something about it. That knowledge is having an impact on how countries think about the issue. Last June, Argentina launched ForestAR 2030, a pioneering inter-agency platform to boost the economy and environmental sustainability through massive reforestation. This game-changing initiative unites six of the country’s ministries and will not only mitigate climate change but position Argentina in the global forestry market.
The consequences of global warming are many, including the loss of 24 trillion tons of fertile soil every year; stronger, more intense and longer-lasting storms, and two billion climate refugees by 2100. Nature is a fundamental piece of addressing climate change and the goal of ForestAR is to reach 2 million hectares of forested land by 2030. That includes the restoration of 300,000 hectares of native forests.
The Nature Conservancy (TNC) provided the scientific guidelines that underpin the platform and played a leading role in designing ForestAR and securing inter-ministerial agreements. Our work demonstrated that reforestation is one of the most efficient nature-based, low-cost solutions for mitigating climate change and meeting the commitments of the Paris Climate Accord. “ForestAR will transform the problem of climate change into an opportunity. We know how many hectares we need to reforest and how much carbon we need to capture. We also know that these actions will generate exports and insert Argentina in an increasingly competitive forestry market,” explained Sergio Bergman, Minister of the Environment and Sustainable Development.
Nature-based solutions provide the same benefits as removing millions of cars from the roads. Some of the strategies that can address climate change include reforestation and sustainable forest management, prevention of forest conversion and promotion of sustainable production. Benefits of reforestation include cleaner water and air; healthier soils; improved biodiversity; the creation of rural jobs; sustainable production of timber, fibers, fuel, food and forest products; climate change mitigation, and more.
TNC envisions ForestAR 2030 as part of a new approach known as "New Forest Economy" that looks for political, market-based solutions that are replicable at scale. The effort can generate partnerships between the forest industry, civil society and governments to protect forests and expand forest cover at a sustained pace, providing Argentina the opportunity to become a sustainable forest leader. TNC will lead through our open science and research approach and provide clarity and support to the critical roles that different groups can play. We will continue to shape the case for natural solutions to climate change (NCS) worldwide and in the process play a role in building a political movement of the magnitude and commitment like that of renewable energies.