Biodiversity – Climate Interactions

06 December 2007

On Thursday 6 December 2007 the Royal Society hosted a side-event at the UN climate talks to launch a report of the findings from an international meeting on biodiversity-climate interactions: adaptation, mitigation and human livelihoods. The full report is now available to download below.

In June 2007 the Royal Society hosted a meeting in collaboration with the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), The Department for International Development (DFID), The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), The Royal Botanical Gardens Kew, the Met Office Hadley Centre, and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), to investigate the inter-linkages between biodiversity, climate change, and human livelihoods and the potential role for biodiversity management in climate change mitigation and adaptation.


The aim of the meeting was to bring experts from the biodiversity, climate change, and sustainable development communities together to encourage dialogue and cooperation and to identify opportunities for maximising policy and science synergies.


The meeting's objectives were:

  • To raise the profile of biodiversity within the climate change issue and to encourage decision makers to consider biodiversity, climate change, and human livelihoods together when developing strategies for sustainable development, protection of biodiversity, and reduction of climate change and its impacts;
  • To explore the role and function of biodiversity and ecosystems in the climate system;
  • To consider the role that biodiversity should play in climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies;
  • To identify key areas in which biodiversity, climate change, and sustainable development science and policy can be coordinated;
  • To consider the interactions between human livelihoods, the biosphere and climate in terms of functions and impacts.

The meeting programme and presentations are available to download below. A summary of the meeting discussion is also available to download.


On the 3rd July 2007 the results of the meeting and the summary document were presented at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) subsidiary body of science, technical and technological advice (SBSTTA) meeting.  The three powerpoint presentations given at the SBSTTA side event are available below.


GBSC is the Global Biodiversity Sub-Committee of the Global Environmental Change Committee


UNFCCC Side event: Biodiversity- climate interactions

Thursday 6 December 2007

Hydro Room, Grand Hyatt Hotel



Workshop Chair: Peter Collins, Royal Society


Workshop speakers


Richard Betts, Met Office Hadley Centre

Antonio Nobre, Amazon Research Institute

Daniel Murdiyarso, CIFOR

Jamie Webb, CBD secretariat

Amy Sullivan, Defra

Peter Collins, The Royal Society

Workshop Report


Ecosystems are important in climate regulation and deliver a range of other services of importance to human wellbeing. Diverse ecological systems tend to be more dynamic and resilient to change. Failure to halt the losses of biodiversity caused by overexploitation, pollution, invasive species and habitat change, and to manage the impacts of climate change on biodiversity, will therefore have increasingly significant implications for human health and wellbeing, economic livelihoods, and ecosystem services including climate regulation.


The messages are clear and simple. Biodiversity and ecosystem resilience are necessary for climate regulation and human wellbeing. Climate change is unequivocal and inevitable. Adaptation is necessary and mitigation essential if dangerous climate change is to be avoided. Urgent, global action is required if the health and livelihoods of people around the world are to be protected and improved, if biodiversity loss is to be halted, and dangerous climate change avoided.


To achieve these goals unprecedented global action is needed. The negotiations for a post 2012 framework for climate change present an opportunity for the international community to take a leadership role on climate change. It is critical that any future framework has sustainable development at its core and that it recognises the fundamental role of biodiversity and ecosystem resilience in the climate system.