New report provides guidance to implement high-quality, high-impact nature-based solutions for climate mitigation for private and public sectors

Posted on 10 November 2021

GLASGOW, Scotland (10 November 2021) – In the wake of increased interest and pledges from both the public and private sectors to scale nature-based solutions, WWF today published a new report with guidance on implementing high-impact and high-quality nature-based solutions for climate mitigation.

The report, A Blueprint for High-Quality Interventions that Work for People, Nature and Climate, serves as a companion to WWF’s Blueprint for Corporate Action on Climate and Nature. The corporate climate mitigation blueprint describes the process for businesses to set and implement science-based targets compatible with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C before making financial commitments that aim to impact climate and nature. 

After prioritizing internal emissions reductions first, funders can turn to nature-based investments and use the new report to help direct their search for high-quality interventions for climate mitigation. The new blueprint focuses on forests, including mangroves. Many of the same guidelines and considerations can also apply to nature-based solutions for climate mitigation deriving from other ecosystems, such as marine environments, grasslands and agricultural lands. 

Josefina Braña Varela, WWF-US Vice President for Forests and Forest Climate Solutions Lead, said: “When implemented effectively, nature-based solutions for climate mitigation can enhance rural livelihoods and promote the value of forests and other critical ecosystems while also helping to reduce vulnerability and build resilience. This blueprint emphasizes that we must put people at the centre. This includes ensuring the conditions for the full participation of Indigenous peoples and local communities and demonstrating the diverse benefits of these interventions in a measurable way.”

To produce impact at the scale required to meet global climate objectives, unprecedented, deliberate and targeted investment is needed. Funders should prioritize the highest-quality interventions that equally benefit people, nature and the climate. 

With this in mind, WWF recommends the following set of guidelines to identify high-quality interventions:
  • By design, nature-based solutions for climate mitigation should simultaneously prioritize improvements to livelihoods and human well-being, the protection and enhancement of nature, and the generation of carbon reductions or removals. 
  • Interventions should be implemented at a significant scale or clearly support an integrated landscape or jurisdictional strategy or programme. 
  • Funders should not make carbon credits a first priority when looking to maximize interventions’ impacts. 
  • Funders should seek out best-in-class interventions that ensure quality, transparency, and equitable benefit sharing. 
A WWF report, released last week, showed that 105 out of 114 enhanced Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) submitted by countries by 12 October 2021 included nature-based solutions. 

Vanessa Pérez-Cirera, WWF Global Deputy Lead for Climate and Energy, said: “WWF welcomes the growing support and investment in nature-based solutions globally. They have a critical role to play in preventing global warming, but we still need to see a step change in both finance and policy. Governments in Glasgow must remember that in parallel to deep and fast decarbonization, there is no viable pathway to 1.5°C without nature. 

“It is critical that the right nature-based solutions are pursued in the right places, with local nature stewards front and centre. The WWF blueprint sets out a framework with guidelines to ensure that nature-based solutions for climate mitigation deliver real, meaningful and measurable benefits for people, nature and the climate and do so increasingly at subnational to national scales as envisioned in the Paris Agreement.”

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Notes to editors

Nature-based solutions are initiatives that protect, restore and sustainably manage land and ocean ecosystems such as forests, peatlands, wetlands, savannahs, coral reefs and mangroves, while simultaneously addressing other societal challenges.

It is estimated that nature-based solutions could provide up to 30% of the climate change mitigation needed to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. They also play a key role in climate adaptation.

For more information, contact news@wwfint.org

About WWF:
WWF is an independent conservation organization, with over 30 million followers and a global network active in nearly 100 countries. Our mission is to stop the degradation of the planet's natural environment and to build a future in which people live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption. Visit panda.org/news for the latest news and media resources; follow us on Twitter @WWF_media