The more carbon emitted into the atmosphere as a result of Human activity, the more destabilized our climate becomes. If we do not take action now, annual global greenhouse emissions will increase by more than 26% before 2030 – dramatically worsening the impacts of climate change.
Conservation can help: Protecting and restoring forests could account for a reduction of 30% of the emissions needed to steady the climate, and help close the ‘emissions gap’ – the difference between the current rate of emissions and the reductions needed to prevent Earth’s temperature from increasing more than 2º Celsius.
Today, species are going extinct faster than at any point since the mass extinction of dinosaurs. The expansive collections of life on Earth – our planet’s biodiversity – is facing a crisis of historic proportions due to increased pollution, urbanization, disease and development.
Thirty-five areas have been designated as irreplaceable ‘Hotspots’ for sustaining the vast array of species found on Earth. Representing just 2.3% of the planet’s land surface, these geographically specific hotspots support more than half of the World’s plant species and more than 40% of bird, mammal, reptile and amphibian species.
One of the richest repositories of Earth’s biodiversity is at risk of perishing. Human activities including extractive industries, road development and agricultural expansion have already removed 10% of the rainforest in the Amazon River basin.
That’s an area roughly the size of France, Germany, Italy and Greece combined. In 2015, the Brazilian Amazon alone lost nearly 3,600 square miles of forest.
Achieving zero net deforestation in Amazonia in the next five years is critical to protecting this essential ecosystem, which in turn will increase prosperity for local communities and help offset climate change.