Trees are the best proven technologies to absorb carbon emissions and yet we are destroying forests at an incredible fast pace. According to the latest official data from the IDEAM (Colombia's research institute measuring Nature's degradation), during 2020, over 171.685 hectares of forests were wiped out. This is an 8% increase from 2019.
In Brazil, data shows similar results: the Amazon's deforestation surged to a 12-year-high in 2020. We are burning the most biodiverse Nature Paradise in the world.
As we enter into 2022, making the effort to understand the implications of a hotter planet and the destruction of our natural ecosystems, can be the tipping point for hundreds of species and for our species. As beautifully written by Patron of the Oceans Lewis Pugh (source), we cannot afford to be 2 degrees celsius hotter. The consequences of this are unimaginable:
At 2°C above pre-industrial temperatures we lose 99% of our coral reefs. It’s easy to turn that number into a picture – but it isn’t a pretty one. Just imagine every vibrant, colourful, diverse, complex, multi-dimensional coral reef in the world bleached white and lifeless. Gone forever.
No more waving anemones, no more electric-coloured fish darting in and out of crevices, no more eels hiding in holes waiting to ambush. There will be nothing left to hunt. Nothing left to eat. That’s what lifeless means. Not just for the oceans, but for all of us.
We need to take military-style action to mobilize people into changing detrimental habits for our environment, otherwise, our chances to avoid the 2°C will be 0. There is hope as we see countries like Colombia striving to protect Nature. Here are some of the latest advancements made to protect our region:
- Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Panama announced a partnership to protect 160,000 km2 of marine areas - the largest commitment ever made globally as of today.
- Colombia published the Ley Climática 2056 with a commitment to reach NetZero by 2050 (source: Camino a Cero).
- Colombia is restoring 1 million corals in the Caribbean Coast in the next few years, besides other interesting commitments the public sector has announced recently.
- To reach NetZero targets Colombia needs to mobilize $57.4 billion COP by 2030. 30% are expected to come from international communities or other mechanisms.
The region remains one of the most dangerous places for environmentalists thou, so we will see how all these words unfold into concrete actions.
Organizations like the IDB are leading new initiatives like Vision 2025 to enable more innovation in Climate and the alignment of incentives from different sectors (source). Watch the 2-minute video:https://youtu.be/H6CDB6pa06g
To see beyond Latin America, we want to share a software tool created by The Nature Conservancy: https://nature4climate.org/n4c-mapper/.
The Atlas is designed to help us all understand nature’s role in mitigating climate change through 16 “pathways,” activities that enhance the protection, restoration, and management of natural and working lands. In addition, the Atlas displays the maximum mitigation potential for each pathway as well as the cost-effective potential (at $100 USD/ton CO2e) which aligns with the UN Paris Climate Agreement goal of limiting warming below 2°C (more information).
How does it work? Toggle between ‘protect, manage, and restore’ categories to see the combined power of pathway groupings, or select individual areas of specific interest. The emissions reduction potential of aggregated selected pathways is displayed as a global total on the upper left. Selecting a country from the dropdown list, or on the map will show the total for that country in the map window. After selecting a country, you can also download a summary report that shows how this all adds up as part of the Paris Agreement commitments and targets.
According to the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, there is still hope as the narratives are changing and sectors like the private sector, are making sustainability part of their core strategies (source). However, movies like Don't look up - available in Netflix - are clear examples of human behavior and our tendencies to default to short-term thinking.
From ePioneers, we hope to inspire massive action to protect nature and enable people to become more conscious about the consequences of biodiversity collapse. If you want to learn more about how we are working on enabling climate action into everyday spending, stay tuned!