Studies: Canada’s conservation efforts must prioritize areas resilient to climate change, researchers say

The Narwhal discusses why Canada’s conservation efforts must prioritize areas resilient to climate change, researchers say. New studies show factoring climate change impacts into planning for protected areas can help achieve emission-reduction and biodiversity targets — a move one scientist calls ‘hitting the conservation science jackpot’.

As Canada works to meet its targets for protecting biodiversity and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, researchers say restoring and protecting wilderness areas can help achieve both goals in the face of a changing climate.

In a paper published this month in the journal Conservation Biology, researchers Carlos Carroll and Reed Noss say climate change should be considered in conservation planning to ensure protection for areas that plants and animals could retreat to as their habitats change.

Carroll’s paper comes just a year after an international body, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, warned that one million species are at risk of extinction globally.

In a study published this month in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, Stralberg and 29 co-authors created a framework for identifying climate refugia in the boreal forest of North America.

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