Scientists Call for Recognition of Biodiversity in Climate Negotiations
story highlights

A declaration prepared by a group of scientists calls for better integration of biodiversity concerns into climate change politics and negotiations.

Scientists and policymakers presented the declaration to Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Peru's Environment Minister and president of the 20th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 20) to the UNFCCC.

The declaration asks climate change policymakers to take biodiversity into account while also recognizing the role scientists must play in providing timely information to policymakers.

cbd-iai5 December 2014: A declaration prepared by a group of scientists calls for better integration of biodiversity concerns into climate change politics and negotiations. Scientists and policymakers presented the declaration to Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Peru’s Environment Minister and president of the 20th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 20) to the UNFCCC. The declaration asks climate change policymakers to take biodiversity into account while also recognizing the role scientists must play in providing timely information to policymakers.

After the publication of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) and the fourth edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-4), and in the lead up to the Lima Climate Change Conference, the scientists gathered at a symposium on ‘Biodiversity and Climate Change’ on 27-28 November 2014 in Lima, Peru. The results of their research, as presented at the symposium, are synthesized in the declaration. The scientists emphasize that biodiversity is both gravely affected by climate change and an important tool for mitigation and building resilience.

Among the findings summarized in the declaration, are: biodiversity’s contribution to withstanding drought; the changes in biodiversity induced by increasing temperatures and increased frequencies of extreme floods and droughts; an increased risk of disease in humans and animals from ecosystem disruption and biodiversity loss; and the exacerbation of climate change effects from direct human activities.

The scientists recommend augmenting research that, inter alia, links both the ecological and socio-economic dimensions of climate change and biodiversity, improves methods for predicting vulnerability, and identifies the characteristics of successful conservation projects. In addition to calling for policy support of this research, the scientists make recommendations to policymakers on including biodiversity considerations in reducing impacts and vulnerability, adapting to climate change impacts, mitigating climate change, and avoiding negative impacts of climate change mitigation and adaptation activities on biodiversity and ecosystems.

Peru’s Environment Ministry, the National Council for Science and Technology, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Secretariat, the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI) and the German International Cooperation Agency (GIZ) organized the symposium. On 5 December 2014, the declaration was presented at a COP 20 side event at the Peru Pavilion. [CBD and IAI Press Release] [The Lima 2014 Declaration on Biodiversity and Climate Change from Science to Policy-makers, for Sustainable Development] [IAI Website] [CBD Website]


related events