IFRC and WWF call for global action to protect nature to save lives and tackle the climate crisis

Stockholm, June 2, 2022 – A new report shows that nature-based solutions could reduce the intensity of climate and weather risks by 26%, in a world where more than 3.3 billion people live in places highly vulnerable to climate change. The study by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and WWF highlights how the power of nature to protect people is overlooked.

The report “Working with nature to protect people: how nature-based solutions reduce climate change and weather-related disasters” shows how nature-based solutions can reduce the likelihood that climate change and weather-related events related to weather conditions occur. It explains how lives can be saved by working with nature-based solutions to prevent exposure to these hazards and help vulnerable communities adapt and resist the dangers of a warming world. For the first time, IFRC and WWF analysis shows that these solutions could provide developing countries with valuable protection against the economic costs of climate change, saving at least US$104 billion in 2030 and 393 billion US dollars in 2050.

Communities in all parts of the world are already experiencing worsening and increasing effects of climate change, with vulnerable people in low-resource countries being hardest hit, and women and children often most at risk. From 2010 to 2019 alone, sudden climate change and weather-related disasters killed more than 410,000 people.

Jagan Chapagain, IFRC General Secretary, said: “The climate crisis is driving multiple humanitarian crises around the world. Its impact on the lives and livelihoods of millions of people is intensifying. Greening nature; restoring forests, farmlands and wetlands is one of the best and most cost-effective ways to help vulnerable communities adapt to the risks and impacts they already face. Protecting nature will protect people.

Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF, said: ” Let’s be clear. Unless we urgently step up efforts to limit the impacts of a warming world, more lives will be lost, and economies and livelihoods will be affected. Nature is our greatest ally and also a crucial buffer against climate change. By restoring and protecting it, we can help ecosystems build resilience and continue to provide crucial services to humanity and especially to the most vulnerable communities.

“Nature-based solutions play a key role in the fight against climate change, but the potential benefits of these solutions diminish as the global temperature rises – which is why every moment and every decision matters in reducing emissions and give us the best chance to build a safer and fairer future.

Examples of effective nature-based solutions that address climate change include:

  • Conserve forests to restore degraded lands, provide food, guard against droughts and protect communities from high winds.
  • Restore healthy floodplains and wetlands to reduce the impact of floods and promote sustainable agriculture to protect against droughts.
  • Restore mangroves and coral reefs to provide a protective barrier against storms, absorb global warming carbon dioxide, and provide food for local communities and habitats for marine life.

The report launches a partnership between the IFRC and WWF. The report will be launched at Stockholm+50, a United Nations environmental meeting where leaders will reflect on 50 years of multilateral action. The partnership aims to raise awareness of nature-based solutions and encourage governments, communities, donors, practitioners and the private sector to integrate nature into their climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction planning. .

Notes for editors:

  1. Nature-based solutions are actions to protect, sustainably manage and restore natural or modified ecosystems that respond to societal challenges and climate change in an effective and adaptive way, while providing benefits to human well-being and combating against the loss of biodiversity. Learn more here.
  2. The full report is available for download here.
  3. The report will be launched at an event at Stockholm+50 June 3 at 1:00 p.m. CEST. This United Nations meeting on the environment offers leaders an opportunity to reflect on 50 years of multilateral action to achieve the bold and urgent progress needed to secure a better future on a healthy planet.
  4. The report outlines the enabling factors that have supported successful nature-based solutions initiatives and the challenges that prevent the scaling up of these solutions. A series of case studies highlights IFRC and WWF work in space, shows the potential of nature-based solutions, provides key lessons to guide practitioners in future implementation, and shows how how critical enabling legal and policy frameworks are for scaling up nature-based solutions. solutions to build resilience to climate and disasters.
For media inquiries and interview requests, contact:

The WWF International Media Team: [email protected]

IFRC: Melis Figanmese, +41 79 202 2033, [email protected]

IFRC: Melissa Winkler, +41 76 240 0324, [email protected]

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