A New Climate for Conservation: Nature, Carbon and Climate in British Columbia

A New Climate for Conservation: Nature, Carbon and Climate Change in British Columbia (Dr. Jim Pojar) explores the role of nature conservation in a climate action strategy for ecological adaptation (Part 1) and ecological mitigation (Part 2), with the key recommendation to develop a comprehensive and integrated Nature Conservation and Climate Action Strategy for the Province of British Columbia (Part 3):

Part 1 presents available science on current climate-change projections, and present and future impacts of climate change to ecosystems, species, genotypes, and the processes linking them. The review focuses primarily on forested systems, and also addresses non-forest and aquatic systems. Ecosystem resilience and adaptation options, in relation to climate change, are outlined. Current thinking in conservation science is then summarised in light of external pressures. B.C.’s existing conservation planning and forestry management are reviewed in terms of their ability to respond to the challenges of climate change.

Part 2 summarises literature on natural capital, ecosystem services and the role of ecosystems in climate change mitigation. Variations in carbon sequestration and storage in different ecosystems are discussed and research gaps in forest carbon dynamics are identified. Current opportunities for an off set market through carbon activities such as avoided degradation, ecological restoration and improved forest management are also explored, in light of recent pilot projects in B.C.

Part 3 integrates the fi ndings from Part 1 and Part 2 in a central recommendation—to develop a comprehensive and integrated provincial Nature Conservation and Climate Action Strategy. To be efficient, this strategy must combine nature conservation and carbon/climate management planning. To be effective, it must embrace the fundamental role of conserving natural ecosystems for adaptation and mitigation of climate change, and for nature’s many other ecosystem services, which underpin sustainable options for current and future generations.

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