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Natural Solutions: Protected Areas Helping People Cope with Climate Change

Nigel Dudley, Sue Stolton, Alexander Belokurov, Linda Krueger, Nik Lopoukhine, Kathy MacKinnon, Trevor Sandwith, and Nik Sekhran
Created: 12/31/2009 - Updated: 3/14/2019


Protected areas are an essential part of the global response to climate change. They are helping address the cause of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. They are helping society cope with climate change impacts by maintaining essential services upon which people depend. Without them, the challenges would be even greater, and their strengthening will yield one of the most powerful natural solutions to the climate crisis.

Opportunities to use protected areas in climate response strategies need to be prioritised by national and local governments. At a global level, the Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) Programme of Work on Protected Areas should be deployed as a major climate change mitigation and adaptation tool. The role of protected areas as part of national strategies for supporting climate change adaptation and mitigation should also be recognised by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Published On

Friday, January 1, 2010


National / Federal
Sector Addressed: 
Conservation / Restoration
Land Use Planning
Rural / Indigenous Livelihoods
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy: 
Natural Resource Management / Conservation
Create new refugia / Increase size and amount of protected areas