IPCC Special Report: GNF calls for action to protect biodiversity and combat climate change

IPCC Special Report: GNF calls for action to protect biodiversity and combat climate change

Today the Special Report on Climate Change and Land Use was published by representa-tives of the 195 member states of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The report warns of the consequences of soil erosion for the global climate, mainly driven by intensive agriculture. The environmental foundations Global Nature Fund and Lake Constance Foundation call for more measures to protect biodiversity as an important step against degradation and for climate protection.

Intensive agriculture contributes significantly
to soil degradation and climate change.
Bonn, 8 August 2019: From 2-6 August 2019, the 50th plenary session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) met in Geneva to discuss the special report on climate change, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security and greenhouse gas emissions. In the report published today, IPCC clearly outlines the links between the increasing degradation of soils and their impact on climate change. In its report, the panel calls for sustainable land use to counter climate change.

For years, the Global Nature Fund (GNF) and the Lake Constance Foundation have been working together with players in the food industry to increase the potential for biodiversity in agriculture. Measures to improve soil quality, such as adapted fertiliser management, specialised catch crop cultivation, the promotion of agrobiodiversity and dynamic and multi-layered cultivation systems not only contribute to diversity in the field but also have positive effects in the fight against climate change.

Agricultural land use is one of the main causes of degradation and one of the reasons why soils will no longer act as carbon sinks in the future, but emit greenhouse gas emissions themselves. "Current agricultural practices are leading to soil erosion and increasing greenhouse gas emissions. One of the first to be affected by the heated climate is agriculture itself. Increasing heavy rainfall or drought leads to crop failures," says Stefan Hörmann, head of the Global Nature Fund's Corporate and Biodiversity Division. Arable land accounts for about 38 % of the world's land area, and the trend is upwards. The increasing expansion of arable land, rising deforestation rates and the high use of fertilizers are driving soil erosion worldwide. "What we need are healthy soils and a diverse, resilient selection of varieties that can withstand climate change. Measures to protect biodiversity and the fight against climate change go hand in hand," says Marion Hammerl, Managing Director of the Lake Constance Foundation.

Background
The Europe-wide project LIFE Food & Biodiversity is performed by the Global Nature Fund, the Lake Constance Foundation, the agency AUF! (Germany), the Fundación Global Nature (Spain), Solagro and agoodforgood (France) and the Instituto Superior Técnico (Portugal). The project is funded by the EU LIFE Programme and the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU) and is recognised as a core initiative of the UN Sustainable Food Systems Programme. The aim is to improve the protection of biodiversity in the food industry. The standards UTZ, Fairtrade Deutschland, UEBT and Gesicherte Qualität Baden-Württemberg as well as the companies Nestlé and Kaufland are among the partner organisations that support the project in terms of content and funding.

Contact
Global Nature Fund (GNF), Office Bonn
Stefan Hörmann
Kaiser-Friedrich-Straße 11
53113 Bonn, Germany
Phone: + 49 228 184 86 94 11
E-mail: hoermann@globalnature.org
Webpage: www.globalnature.org; www.business-biodiversity.eu
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