Nature-based solutions – or why we need to help nature to fix our planet
Tackling climate change can seem daunting, but many of the answers lie in what already exists around us in nature – we just need to take care of it. By better looking after key habitats and landscapes, we can fix some of the damage that humans have done to our world.
We all know that carbon dioxide is a problem and that we need to reduce our emissions. But nature is also silently giving us a hand to clean up our atmosphere. Places like saltmarsh and peatland store huge amounts of carbon, so it’s vital we protect them. We must also plant more trees as woodlands, along with plants and wildflowers, play a part in cleaning up the air we breathe.
Nature can also help us reduce the risk of flooding that comes with climate change. It’s doing just that at RSPB Wallasea in Essex, where we’ve created a huge coastal habitat, that will improve flood defences as well as providing homes for nature.
Improving water quality in rivers and reservoirs is something that must happen urgently, for both humans and wildlife, and nature can play a significant role in this. At RSPB Haweswater in the Lake District, we work with Unity Utilities to help the habitat get back to its former glory. Because of this, the water quality in Haweswater has improved and all around the reservoir is more space for wildlife, including mountain hares and black grouse.
2021 is a key year for nature. The UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) will be held in Glasgow in November, and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP-15), will be held in Kunming, China in October. The RSPB is campaigning for targets for nature’s recovery at both global summits.