Press Release

Sustainable Land Management is Key to Reducing the Impacts of Climate Change

Today’s UN special report on climate change and the future of land use makes it clear we must transform the way we use land and produce food around the world if there is to be hope of keeping global temperatures under 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Photo by Michael Nichols

Photograph by Photo by Michael Nichols

UN Report Says Human Demand Driving Unprecedented Depletion of Natural Resources

Today’s UN special report on climate change and the future of land use makes it clear we must transform the way we use land and produce food around the world if there is to be hope of keeping global temperatures under 1.5 degrees Celsius. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), report shows we are exploiting our natural resources faster than they can be renewed and that land degradation and desertification at this scale poses significant, wide-reaching consequences for the well-being of the planet.

The report makes clear that ‘business as usual’ is no longer an option and that dramatic short-term action is required. Delays in reducing greenhouse gas emissions will not only undermine the global economy by destabilizing the ecosystems that underpin it through loss of biodiversity and jeopardizing sufficient food production.

A failure to protect critical lands and ecosystems will only exacerbate the impacts a warming climate will have on people and economies. Conserved lands not only sequester excess carbon, but also provide natural protections to local communities against the worst impacts of climate change. Carbon sequestration, local communities and Indigenous Peoples are some of our best weapons in the fight against climate change.

The Campaign for Nature has issued the following response:

Jonathan Baillie, Executive Vice President and Chief Scientist for the National Geographic Society

"In the face of these alarming trends, the IPCC report is another important wake-up call to find a more sustainable path. The report clearly shows how rapid deterioration of nature threatens our food, water, health, and security. The opportunity is here and now to achieve not only our economic and development goals, but also our climate goals.”

“This is a global problem, which requires action by all sectors of society – countries, companies, and communities – to solve. As a core element of the solution, Campaign for Nature is calling on governments to listen to the scientific consensus and adopt a new global framework for the conservation and restoration of nature in 2020 that includes a goal of protecting at least 30 percent of the planet’s land and ocean by 2030.”

Brian O’Donnell, Director, Campaign for Nature

“Charting a sustainable path will require more funding and collaboration than ever before. A more sustainable world is still possible if governments and businesses make big transformative changes within the next ten years. By acting right now, we can use nature as part of the solution to combat climate change.”

“The destruction of nature and the rising threat of climate change are the challenges of our times. Protecting nature is critical to the global effort to combat climate change and vice versa.”

“By urgently protecting habitats, changing land management practices and increasing financial commitments to conservation, we can help address the crisis facing nature. Scientists have shown us what it as stake and have given us a path forward. Now it is up to us to act as a global community.”

Learn more about the Campaign for Nature and the effort to protect at least 30 percent of the planet by 2030 at

For Campaign for Nature interviews and quotes, please contact:

Greg Zimmerman Wyss Campaign for Nature + 1 847.848.2881

Kirsten Weymouth National Geographic Society +1 703.928.4995

Media Contact

General Media Contact
If you are a member of the media with an inquiry or interview request, please call during regular business hours or email
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Kirsten Weymouth
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+1 703.928.4995
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About National Geographic Society

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