Sea turtle swimming underwater next to corals and fish.

Biodiversity Conservation

Healthy, biodiverse ecosystems provide goods and services critical to human well-being and resilience, including services that support climate change adaptation and mitigation. However, climate change poses a direct threat to biodiversity through stressors, such as higher temperatures, shifting precipitation patterns, and ocean acidification. These stressors degrade habitats, accelerate extinction rates, and exacerbate impacts from other threats to biodiversity, such as invasive species. Drivers of climate change and threats to biodiversity are also linked; deforestation fragments and reduces habitats while simultaneously releasing large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Conservation, restoration, and management of biodiversity and natural resources can improve their resilience and help countries and communities respond to climate variability and long-term climate change, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Ecosystem-based adaptation and climate mitigation actions like land use planning and sustainable forest management can also help conserve biodiverse ecosystems.

Similarly, agroforestry, rangeland restoration, and reforestation can heal and rebuild degraded landscapes, ultimately reducing both emissions and habitat fragmentation. The diversification of natural resource livelihoods and the reduction of non-climate threats to biodiversity, such as overexploitation, can also limit harmful impacts and improve ecosystems’ ability to adapt to a changing climate. Addressing climate impacts on biodiversity can improve development outcomes by strengthening the ecosystem services on which people rely.

Features

Ecosystem-based Adaptation Portal

Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) is a nature-based method for climate change adaptation that can reduce the vulnerability of people, natural systems, and economies to climate stressors. USAID’s E3 Office of Forestry and Biodiversity and Office of Global Climate Change produced a series of evidence summaries and case studies to help decision-makers identify EbA approaches to address climate vulnerabilities and contribute to development results.

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Integrating Biodiversity and Sustainable Landscapes in USAID Programming

Integration of biodiversity and sustainable landscapes objectives and considerations has the potential to increase the sustainability of USAID programming, amplify results, and save costs. This document explores both the benefits and potential challenges of integration to help USAID staff make informed choices about whether and how to integrate these two distinct funding streams.

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