'Protecting nature protects people': Red Cross and WWF join forces to combat global warming

'Protecting nature protects people': Red Cross and WWF join forces to combat global warming
Credit: Belga, Kurt Desplenter

For the first time, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) and WWF joined forces, publishing a report that shows the importance of nature-based solutions to climate change and its dangerous consequences.

According to the report, titled “Working with nature to protect people”, these solutions can reduce the intensity of climate and weather risks by 26%.

A necessary development to protect the people and planet: Red Cross volunteers witnessed how weather-related disasters such as floods affect people all over the world. In total, more than 3.3 billion people are subject to climate change and extreme weather events.

"The climate crisis is causing multiple humanitarian crises around the world. Its impact on millions of people is intensifying," said IFRC Secretary General Jagan Chapagain, quoted in a joint statement by the two NGOs.

“​​Greening nature, restoring forests, agricultural lands and wetlands are some of the most effective and efficient ways to help vulnerable communities adapt to the risks and impacts they already face. Protecting nature protects people."

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Belgium is a primary example of the urgent need of finding solutions after last year’s fatal floods, which killed 39 people. Scientists link this increase in frequency and heavy rainfall to man-made climate change. Wallonia has just announced with "temporary immersion zones" to prevent future flooding.

"Nature is our best ally. By restoring and protecting it, we can help ecosystems become more resilient and continue to provide essential services to humanity," added Thomas Vellacott, Director General of WWF Switzerland.

These new solutions can offer valuable protection against the economic costs of climate change, saving developing countries at least $104 billion in 2030 and $393 billion in 2050, the report says.


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