Biodiversity and climate change: a delicate balance ensuring our survival

13 December 2017 Montreal, Canada

Scientific publication offers new data for policy implementation on the impacts of climate change on biodiversity


Montreal, Canada, 13 December 2017. The IAI and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) released today “The Lima Declaration on Biodiversity and Climate Change: Contributions from Science to Policy for Sustainable Development” as part of the CBD Technical Series. The publication, co-edited by the IAI, includes contributions from investigators from 3 IAI networks and will be distributed to delegates attending the Twenty-first meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-21) being held in Montreal, Canada from 11 to 14 December 2017.

Addressing climate change and the loss of biodiversity are key challenges for countries to implement effectively their nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and their national biodiversity strategies and action plans.

The publication, available on the websites of the IAI ( and the CBD (, considers the scientific basis of the linkages between biodiversity and climate change and their policy implications. The various contributions in the publication are based on the presentations made at the Symposium on Biodiversity and Climate Change, contributions from science to policy, held in Lima, Peru in November 2014. The Symposium focused on how science can provide the information needed to understand the impacts of climate change on biodiversity and how biodiversity can influence the vulnerability or resilience of ecosystems to those changes.

“Biodiversity is not simply a victim of climate change; it must also be part of the solution: biodiversity enhances ecosystem resilience, contributing to both climate change mitigation and adaptation. The scientific basis of the linkages between climate change and biodiversity, and their policy implications are considered in this publication and help us advance understanding of what the current state of knowledge as we plan for the development of the fifth edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-5) at this meeting”, said Dr. Cristiana Pasca-Palmer, Executive Secretary to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

The Lima Declaration, which resulted from the Symposium, contains recommendations from scientists who have assessed the status, trends and vulnerability of biodiversity to climate change and also the role of biodiversity in carbon sequestration and in resilience for adaptation.

The publication includes the results of discussions on how:

– Biodiversity can enhance the resilience of ecosystem structure to environmental changes, such as prolonged drought.
– Biodiversity is changing across many different taxonomic groups and biomes, including mountains, oceans and forests, as a result of a wide range of recent environmental changes such as increasing temperature, and increased frequencies of extreme floods and droughts;
– Effective sustainable management requires understanding both the ecological and socio-economic dimensions of the problem and requires coherent policies at all levels of government;
– Possible solutions include community-based projects that provide economic or other benefits, carefully designed restoration projects, and/or appropriate incentives to support ecologically sustainable land-use practices; and
– A coherent set of actions across sectors and levels of government and society is needed to effectively address climate change and biodiversity loss, including a policy framework, economic incentives aligned with that framework, public participation, continuous monitoring and effective enforcement.

“The timeliness of this publication, which presents new insights on the mechanisms aligning science to policy for sustainable development, should not be underestimated. National policy grounded in science provides for effective regulatory frameworks, the conservation and sustainable use of biological resources and more security for local communities and indigenous peoples whose livelihoods most depend on biological resources”, added Dr. Marcos Regis da Silva, IAI Executive Director.

The IAI is grateful to those who contributed to this publication, namely to scientists in our research networks Sara Purca, Jose H. Muelbert, Alberto R. Piola, Arturo Sanchez-Azofeifa, Ana Lucía Solano, Edwin Castellanos, Hallie Eakin, Catherine Tucker, and Rafael Diaz Porras. We thank the CBD Secretariat for its support and continued partnership, and to Lily Rodriguez and the German Cooperation for Development (GIZ Pro-Ambiente) for helping to make the Symposium and this publication possible. In addition, the IAI acknowledges with appreciation the support received from the Peruvian Ministry of Environment (MINAM) and the National Council for Science, Technology, and Technological Innovation (CONCYTEC).

For more information, please contact:
Ione Anderson