A wave of technologies uses nature to fight the climate crisis

Drone technologies for reforestation. Satellite and eDNA data for monitoring biodiversity and natural capital. Blockchain for transparent carbon transactions. More processing power, better algorithms, machine learning, and widely available data. A wave of technologies is accelerating natural climate solutions, and experts say that, together, they can provide about a third of the cost-effective climate mitigation needed between now and 2030 to reach the 1.5 ° C target. United Nations Paris Climate Agreement.

In fact, nature-based solutions are estimated to have the potential to lift a billion people out of poverty, create 80 million jobs, add another $ 2.3 trillion in growth to the global economy, and even prevent 3, 7 trillion dollars in damage caused by climate change. Now it’s up to investors to recognize this potential and direct funds where they are needed.

A new white paper, “What you can measure, you can manage: how nature’s technology can help us solve climate and nature crises”, Hopes to generate interest, inspire action and ultimately stimulate investment in the nature-based solutions industry, as well as highlight the potential pitfalls and how they could be avoided. Natural climate solutions are methods of reducing carbon emissions and storing them in the world’s forests, grasslands and wetlands.

Examples of large images are:

  • Reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), related to land use
  • Capture and store additional CO2 from the atmosphere and maintain its flow in existing wells
  • Improving the resilience and adaptability of ecosystems, thus helping communities to adapt to the increasing consequences of our climate change

These solutions are often complex and interconnected. Better land management has a positive impact on other critical environmental, social and economic factors. Reflexive interactions that take a holistic approach promote greater social and human gains.

The role of clean technology in accelerating climate action is well known: despite the economic turmoil in 2022, investments in climate technology initiatives exceeded $ 19 billion in the first 6 months of the year. However, when it comes to tackling the climate crisis and severe biodiversity loss, the potential of nature’s technology to help accelerate climate-critical action is sometimes overlooked.

What is nature’s technology?

“Nature tech” describes technologies that can accelerate the implementation of large-scale nature-based solutions. They mimic the earth’s ecosystems or enhance nature’s ability to regenerate. Considering that $ 44 trillion – over half of the world’s GDP – is moderately or heavily dependent on nature, investing in nature’s technology is smart, both financially and for the planet.

It is generally divided into 4 categories: distribution; monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV), transparency and connection. Technologies such as LiDAR and open source solutions have great potential to improve resolution and reduce MRV costs, resulting in greater responsibility in nature-based solutions. Mobile apps can connect local communities to sources of information, other people and higher-paying markets for their products, helping to promote the sustainable use of natural ecosystems.

Nature’s technology can play a crucial role in addressing climate change and the biodiversity crisis:

  • Effectively measure the benefits that nature offers, allowing us to evaluate and manage with a “big data” approach.
  • Reduce costs and improve the accuracy of data collection through machine learning and remote data tracking
  • Improve transparency
  • Help address the historic lack of confidence in nature-based solutions as a tool for addressing climate change
  • Enable and facilitate the collection, sharing and evaluation of data, which helps stakeholders identify which projects are truly high integrity and may have the greatest impact on reversing nature loss and addressing the climate crisis

The distribution dilemma

Due to limitations in measurement, carbon has often been used as a proxy for the host of biodiversity, ecosystem, and community co-benefits for nature’s abundant ecosystems. This is because actions that provide measurable climate mitigation usually also offer a number of other benefits, such as water quality and increased biodiversity.

Metrics for these more complex characteristics of natural systems are much more difficult to measure or are still in development, but integrating nature into global financial models and systems means having the ability to measure and monitor existing systems, their loss. and earnings in specific places. It is important to set meaningful goals and milestones and to take into account those who do not achieve them.

Contemporary data science is able, within the parameters of human knowledge, to tackle complexity to provide simple and accurate scores and metrics. It can also help with prioritization, i.e. optimizing and maximizing the results of nature-based solutions within a limited landscape.

It will require seeing nature as a classic “big data” problem, as data analysis will have to digest billions of living things reacting to many different variables in each place. Yet that kind of approach to big data is not entirely current; however, interesting tools and a wave of technologies are coming to us: bioacoustics, innovations that remove dependence on petroleum-derived chemicals, artificial intelligence services popping up to more precisely monitor and manage carbon sequestration.

The next steps will be to ascertain the relevance, accuracy, accuracy and feasibility of these tools to effectively assess their usefulness in decision making. You will need to identify exactly how much data is needed to take action. Furthermore, for these technologies to be reliable and scalable, transparency and open data sharing are essential.

Want to see how the wave of technologies is helping the areas of the world you know and love? Check out this fascinating database of case study selections.

Making the wave of technologies transparent

Nature4Climate is the impetus behind the new white paper highlighted in this article. The organization’s mission is to help raise the profile of natural climate solutions and catalyze action on the ground. It is made up of 19 of the world’s leading conservation, multilateral and business organizations working to establish partnerships between governments, civil society, businesses and investors. Their focus focuses on the urgency of protecting, restoring and financing nature-based solutions.

Nature-based solutions are now available for implementation, are scalable, and can transform key industries, such as forestry and agriculture. Nature Tech can help address the interlinked challenges of climate change and nature loss by supporting global climate, nature and sustainability goals. Given where we are in both of these crises, we need all the innovation, speed and scalability of technology we can offer, working alongside science and with the appropriate guardrails in place.


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