Climate change is projected to wipe out 20 percent of the known species by 2020 – and it would be good idea for the UNFCCC to recognise the importance of plants and animals, known and unknown, being lost, say biodiversity experts attending COP-15.
Nick King, executive director of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), says it is crucial to include biodiversity monitoring, mapping, data collection and analysis in the UNFCC adaptation track to facilitate free access to biodiversity information.
“If climate change is the problem, then biodiversity is the solution,” says Ahmed Djoghlaf, executive secretary of the Convention on Biological Biodiversity (CBD), an international treaty signed in 1992.
Forests, wetlands, peatlands, oceans and ecosystems, all of which are affected by climate change, need to be addressed in parallel, and simultaneously, with climate change, he says.
Creating national monitoring networks to monitor plant and animal changes due to weather patterns could help local communities adapt to climate change, adds Tim Christophersesn, environmental affairs officer at CBD secretariat in Canada.
GBIF has hubs across west Africa and is creating a monitoring network in Tanzania for scientific evaluation of biodiversity changes.
Toby Hodgkin, director of global partnerships programme at Biodiversity International, says financial backflows to communities conserving biodiversity would greatly help check deforestation.
“Investments in training those who monitor in communities and financial backflows to communities and countries conserving biodiversity is crucial,” he says.
Ochieng’ Ogodo, SciDev.Net freelance writer