Earth’s climate is approaching a tipping point. Rampant worldwide warming has become a hallmark of our time, driven by a sharp increase in carbon pollution that contributes to extreme weather events — sea-level rise, heat waves, droughts and floods — that threaten lives and livelihoods everywhere. But the world’s forests hold the key to slowing this trend.
A storm is brewing, but there is still time to act.
Under the Weather
Since the advent of modern temperature data in 1880, five of the warmest years on record have occurred since 2015, and the 10 warmest years have occurred since 2005.
The United Nations estimates that the cost of coping with climate change will soar to US$ 130 billion to US$ 400 billion per year by 2030, severely impacting developing and low-lying nations.
Protecting and restoring the world’s forests can provide at least 30% of action needed to avoid the worst climate scenarios.
It’s Time to Turn Over a New Leaf
If we hope to put the freeze on climate change, it’s imperative that we protect our forests. Tropical forests store large amounts of climate-warming carbon. Nearly 25% of the world’s above-ground carbon is found on forested land managed by Indigenous peoples — making it crucial to work with local communities to strengthen their stewardship their lands. And the value is clear: In Amazonia, for example, every dollar spent on securing Indigenous land yields more than 99 dollars in environmental benefits.