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Global Crisis, Local Solution

By August 13, 2021 No Comments

On Monday, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its sixth report on the state of the global climate, with grim predictions. Major changes across the entire climate system, which includes temperature, precipitation, and sea level, are being observed in every region of the planet. This report was compiled by 234 scientists from 66 countries – but you don’t need a team of scientists to tell that something is wrong. “Every region of the world” inevitably includes our own here in the Thousand Islands watershed, and the multi-day heat warnings and powerful thunderstorms that have permeated the summer of 2021 are just the tip of the rapidly melting iceberg. A crisis on this scale is difficult to conceptualize and even harder to mobilize a solution for.

Photo: Devon Frizell

But all hope is not lost. Globally, the effects of the Climate Crisis will be difficult to reverse, but locally, we have an opportunity to mitigate and adapt to its effects. Organizations like TIWLT that are conserving land for ecosystem services, carbon sequestration, and the protection of biodiversity are the local vanguards against the Climate Crisis; the frontline working to protect local people from irreversible change. The weapon we wield comes in the form of large contiguous green spaces, which sequester carbon, help stabilize precipitation, and have a cooling effect on the local scale. It’s known that, in areas like the Thousand Islands watershed that have lots of vegetation but high vulnerability to changes in climate, wildlife will need space to shift their range and adapt. At TIWLT, we are working to give them the space they need. We are not a lobbyist group; we don’t wait for governments to establish protected areas, nor do we rely on political will to get our work done. We take matters into our own hands, working with willing landowners through direct action to protect land and hold it in trust for the benefit of everyone in our working area. In turn, thriving intact ecosystems will help us adapt to the Climate Crisis by providing ecosystem services that are nearly immeasurable in value. In this way, land conservation presents a win-win scenario for nature and people.

 TIWLT needs your help to continue the fight against the Climate Crisis. This year, we stand to add another 200 acres of protected land to the over 5000 acres we’ve helped protect since we started in 1993. Land conservation isn’t free: we must pay for legal costs, appraisals, biological work, and more each and every time we secure land. It takes thousands of dollars to protect a single property – money which TIWLT must fundraise or secure grants for. Your donation, no matter the size, helps us to pay these costs and protect the land that will come to protect us from the Climate Crisis. Consider your donation an investment in the future of your health, your home, its wildlife, and irreplaceable communities. Make your investment today by visiting our Donations Page. Thank you to everyone who has provided financial support in the past – we hope we can rely on your continued support as we press forward on our mission of conservation.

Read the full Sixth Assessment Report by the IPCC here.

By: Calder Schweitzer

Cover Photo: Riley Dowling

References:

Game, E., Lipsett-Moore, G., Saxon, E., Peterson, N., and Sheppard, S. Incorporating climate change adaptation into national conservation assessments. Glob Chang Biol. 17, 3150-3160 (2011). doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2011.02457.x

Li, Y., Zhao, M., Motesharrei, S. et al. Local cooling and warming effects of forests based on satellite observations. Nat Commun. 6, 6603 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms7603

Munang, R., Thiaw, I., Alverson, K., Liu, J., and Han, Z. The role of ecosystem services in climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. Cosust. 5, 1-6 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2013.02.002