Ecosystems and the services they provide (e.g. climate regulation, food security, freshwater supply, disaster risk reduction) are the fundamental units of life support on Earth. Without these services Human society cannot survive.
Ecosystems play an unequivocal and increasingly vital role in both mitigation (carbon sequestration and storage) and adaptation (i.e. societal adaptation to climate change impacts).
Terrestrial and oceanic ecosystems currently absorb about half of the current anthropogenic CO2 emissions, but this absorption capacity is being reduced by 1% per decade, whilst human driven emissions are accelerating.
Increasing emissions and declining absorption capacity coupled with positive feedbacks from ecosystems will result in climate destabilisation.
An Ecosystems approach is a cost effective ‘Win-Win-Win’ link between mitigation, adaptation and long-term sustainability, by increasing absorption of greenhouse gas, reducing natural sources whilst providing life support in a changing world.