Global: Why plants matter


As Copenhagen enters its second long day it's worth remembering that looking after the natural world will help steer our Earthship through the predicted storms of a changing climate.

A new report Natural Solutions from IUCN, The Nature Conservancy, United Nations Development Programme, Wildlife Conservation Society, World Bank, and WWF with a foreword by Nicholas Stern, aims to lay out just that argument. With countries, organisations, and people already demanding pieces of the pie before there's even a pie to be dished out it's becoming increasingly important that the right voices get heard in this modern day Babel.

But who are the right voices? Botanic gardens, NGOs, universities, and more will all be clamouring to get their names at the top of the list. As Stephen Hopper, Director of RBG, Kew, puts it: "Conserving genetic diversity in botanic gardens and seed banks is a sensible and practical precaution for an uncertain future. With species loss at an unnatural high and climate change threatening many ecosystems, the need to invest in these facilities has never been greater."

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Copenhagen: Nature has the solutions


rainforest thumbnailOn the opening days of the Copenhagen Climate Conference there has been a call from IUCN urging leaders meeting in Copenhagen to include nature’s solutions to reduce emissions and cope with impacts of climate change in a post-2012 deal.