Seven recommendations from Aarhus to COP15

March 13, 2009

This release is availble in German.

The Aarhus University sponsored conference aimed at creating dialogue and knowledge transfer between the many conference participants and - according to head of conference Professor Ellen Margrethe Basse - Beyond Kyoto was very successful in doing so:

"I am very pleased with the outcome of this conference, which will undoubtedly contribute significantly to the future climate debate not to mention deliver substantial inputs to COP15"

In a unique way the heads of conference theme sessions have delivered 7 important statements from Beyond Kyoto. "The 7 Aarhus Statements on Climate Change" was presented at the end of the conference and on Monday the Aarhus Statements will be forwarded to a series of prominent Danish ministers - including Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Minister for Climate and Energy Connie Hedegaard.For further information please contact Head of conference, Professor Ellen Margrethe Basse, mobile: +45 23261829 or Head of press relations at Aarhus University Anders Correll, mobile: +45 2899 2235

Theme 2: Biodiversity and ecosystems

Biodiversity needs to be an integrated part of the general climate change mitigation and adaptation effort

Climate change (CC) constitutes a major threat to Earth's biodiversity

Currently, biodiversity is under negative pressure from land-use, biological invasions, and pollution. As a result, numerous species are threatened with extinction, for example, 25% of the World's ~5,500 mammal species. Over the next 100 years CC will constitute an additional pressure, with potentially severe impacts. CC is already affecting ecosystems and biodiversity globally, causing changes in ecosystem functioning, species abundances, and species ranges. With an increase in global mean temperature of just >1.5-2.5°C 20-30% of the species studied may experience an increased risk of extinction.

Although strong losses are unavoidable if the climate change is not strongly curtailed beyond business-as-usual expectations, the CC impact will strong depend on interactions with other pressures, notably land-use. Key adaptation strategies are:

1. Reducing other pressures on biodiversity: A key adaptation strategy would be decreasing other pressures on biodiversity (habitat loss etc) to increase resilience to CC. It is therefore crucial that CC mitigation and adaptation (especially in land-use, e.g., biofuel crops) should be implemented in ways that alleviates rather puts additional negative pressure on biodiversity.

2. CC-integrated conservation planning: Maintain viable, connected and genetically diverse populations by a variety of means (expand reserve systems, design of reserve systems to be robust to CC, CC-off-setting local management (controlled burning to reduce fuel loads ect.), captive breeding, assisted migration/translocation, engineering new habitats etc).

Forest conservation including Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) constitute a major and cost-effective CC mitigation opportunity

Biodiversity and in particular forests also constitute a major part of the solution to the CC problem. Emissions from land use change, especially tropical deforestation, contribute to ~20% of total anthropogenic CHG emissions. A important facet of CC mitigation is therefore forest conservation including reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD), especially in relation to carbon- and biodiversity-rich tropical forests. By reducing pressure on tropical forests, REDD is also likely to have direct benefits for biodiversity. Afforestation/reforestation can also contribute importantly to carbon sequestration and reduce pressure on forest biodiversity. To realize this key mitigation, it is absolutely crucial that economic structures providing incentives for forest conservation are implemented.

Key point: Biodiversity needs to be an integrated part of the CC mitigation and adaptation effort

CC adaptation and mitigation in other sectors can have positive, neutral, or negative impacts on biodiversity. Synergies could be promoted by formulating integrated policies cross-linking major UN conventions, notably UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) and CBD (Convention on Biological Diversity).
-end-
Further information to Theme 2 (Biodiversity and ecosystems):

PD Dr. Josef Settele/ Dr. Ingolf Kühn
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ)
Phone: +49-345-558- 5320, -5311
http://www.ufz.de/index.php?en=817
http://www.ufz.de/index.php?en=821

and

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Cramer
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
Phone: +49-331-288-2521
http://www.pik-potsdam.de/members/cramer/index_html?set_language=en

Links:

Conference Beyond Kyoto: http://www.klima.au.dk/dk/forside/konferencebeyondkyotoconferen/

Theme 2 Biodiversity and ecosystems: http://www.klima.au.dk/dk/forside/konferencebeyondkyotoconferen/programme/theme-2-biodiversity-ecosystems/

7 recommendations from Aarhus to COP15! http://www.au.dk/en/news/archive/2009/060309a

UN Climate Change Conference 2009 in Copenhagen (COP15): http://en.cop15.dk/

EU Research project ALARM (Assessing LArge scale environmental Risks with tested Methods): http://www.alarmproject.net

EU Research project MACIS (Minimisation of and Adaptation to Climate change Impacts on biodiversity) http://www.macis-project.net/

Helmholtz Association

Related Climate Change Articles from Brightsurf:

Are climate scientists being too cautious when linking extreme weather to climate change?
Climate science has focused on avoiding false alarms when linking extreme events to climate change.

Mysterious climate change
New research findings underline the crucial role that sea ice throughout the Southern Ocean played for atmospheric CO2 in times of rapid climate change in the past.

Mapping the path of climate change
Predicting a major transition, such as climate change, is extremely difficult, but the probabilistic framework developed by the authors is the first step in identifying the path between a shift in two environmental states.

Small change for climate change: Time to increase research funding to save the world
A new study shows that there is a huge disproportion in the level of funding for social science research into the greatest challenge in combating global warming -- how to get individuals and societies to overcome ingrained human habits to make the changes necessary to mitigate climate change.

Sub-national 'climate clubs' could offer key to combating climate change
'Climate clubs' offering membership for sub-national states, in addition to just countries, could speed up progress towards a globally harmonized climate change policy, which in turn offers a way to achieve stronger climate policies in all countries.

Review of Chinese atmospheric science research over the past 70 years: Climate and climate change
Over the past 70 years since the foundation of the People's Republic of China, Chinese scientists have made great contributions to various fields in the research of atmospheric sciences, which attracted worldwide attention.

A CERN for climate change
In a Perspective article appearing in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Tim Palmer (Oxford University), and Bjorn Stevens (Max Planck Society), critically reflect on the present state of Earth system modelling.

Fairy-wrens change breeding habits to cope with climate change
Warmer temperatures linked to climate change are having a big impact on the breeding habits of one of Australia's most recognisable bird species, according to researchers at The Australian National University (ANU).

Believing in climate change doesn't mean you are preparing for climate change, study finds
Notre Dame researchers found that although coastal homeowners may perceive a worsening of climate change-related hazards, these attitudes are largely unrelated to a homeowner's expectations of actual home damage.

Older forests resist change -- climate change, that is
Older forests in eastern North America are less vulnerable to climate change than younger forests, particularly for carbon storage, timber production, and biodiversity, new research finds.

Read More: Climate Change News and Climate Change Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.