FORBES | Friday, November 18th marks the final day of COP27 – the United Nations 27th annual Climate Change conference. Each year this conference convenes leaders from nearly 200 nations. And each year, the stakes are higher.
This year seems especially poignant. The global community is under tremendous pressure to achieve the goals outlined in COP21’s Paris Agreement where nations pledged to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit). Since then, nations have been working to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions to protect the health of our environment, natural resources, and people.
Reducing emissions alone, though, will not be enough. Indeed, we will not be able meet our climate action goals without also transitioning to cleaner and more sustainable energy sources and doubling down on investing in nature.
Nature-centric solutions – such as restoring, protecting, and managing our lands and wetlands — allow our natural environment to be our climate defender. This is better for the health of our ecosystems, our communities, and our planet. It is also a core value of The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the world’s largest conservation organization dedicated to creating a future where people and nature thrive.
FORBES | The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has a storied history of local, regional, and global environmental protection and conservation efforts centered on sound principles and comprehensive solutions. Since 1951, TNC has used a collaborative approach that engages communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners to combat some of our world’s toughest challenges like climate change and food and water sustainability.
TNC’s mission is centered on the fact that all life is connected and supported by land and water and, when these resources benefit, so do people. This duality of purpose in focusing on solutions that benefit nature and people alike, separates TNC from many other environmentally focused groups. Without a doubt, this has been key to TNC’s successes in 76 countries and territories: 37 by direct conservation impact and 39 through partnership.
Recently, Tracy—my wife and a member of the Tennessee TNC Board—and I traveled to the eastern coast of Central America to visit the on-the-ground team leading TNC’s Belize chapter. This chapter has played an active role in protecting the country’s vital ecosystems for 31 years and, more recently, the country’s economy.
Always eager to immerse ourselves in the fascinating conservation work being done globally, Tracy and I jumped at the opportunity to join a Belize TNC team retreat to learn more about innovative solutions underway, from Blue Bonds to sustainable seaweed farming, and how local conservation efforts in Belize are indeed having a powerful global impact. Here are some of the remarkable and eye-opening things we learned over our two-day visit: