Several human activities emit greenhouse gases (GHGs), the most relevant of those being CO2, CH4, and N2O. Some activities, such as burning fossil fuels and deforestation, intensify global warming, causing changes to the planet's climate system. This means that the seasons and rainy periods to which we are used are becoming increasingly unpredictable and that species and natural ecosystems are even more threatened.
In this scenario, several countries, including Brazil, have commited to taking action against global climate change. The historical milestone was the “Paris Agreement,” in 2015, during the 21st Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 21) – an event that the Boticário Group Foundation attended as an observer.
The stated goal of the Paris Agreement is “containing the increase of global average temperatures well below 2°C higher than pre-industrial levels and enacting efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C higher than pre-industrial levels, in recognition that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.” But we are close to going over that goal, as our planet is currently 1.1°C warmer than it was in the pre-industrial period.
The Boticário Group Foundation strives for nature preservation to be considered among the Brazilian strategies for mitigating (reducing the emission of GHGs) and adapting to climate changes, for even with reduced emissions we will need to adapt to ongoing changes. This is done by producing scientific knowledge and influencing on public and private policies.
Well-preserved natural environments increase our resilience to the negative effects of climate changes. Furthermore, protected natural areas are strategic since carbon captured from the atmosphere by vegetation is stored both in biomass (plants and animals) and in soil.
“Ecosystem-Based Adaptation (EBA) consists in using ecosystemic services and biodiversity as part of a wider adaptation strategy to help people and communities adapt to the negative effects of climate change at a local, national, regional, and global level.” (UNEP, 2012)
The concept, the history, and the opportunities for incorporating EBA in public policy are compiled in a document prepared by the Boticário Group Foundation in 2015. The institution participates in several forums and networks with the goal of contributing to debates on the importance of biodiversity preservation for the adaptation to climate changes and in increasing the resilience of communities to those changes. Among the key contributions, we include:
o Participated in building the National Plan for Adaptation to Climate Change, approved by the Ministry of the Environment (MMA) in May 2016;
o Developed, together with the MMA, GVces, and other partners, an adaptation tool designed for civil society, and the Adaptation Knowledge Platform (AdaptaClima);
o Presented our initiatives in national and international forums and networks;
o Contributed to the publishing of “Managing Climate Change,” by the Brazilian Enterprise Council for Sustainable Development (CEBDS).
o Contributed to the development of the UN report on the use of ecosystem services in climate change adaptation.
o Contributed to the revised Guide for Climate Change Adaptation for federative agencies, edited by the WWF.
Over 40 organizations, including the Boticário Group Foundation, are part of the Climate Observatory, a network that has, for over 15 years, had the goal of organizing social actors for the government to undertake commitments and implement effective public policies for decreases in GHG emissions and climate change adaptation in the country.
The Foundation is part of the Climate Observatory coordination and of the Climate Observatory Adaptation Workgroup, highlighting the importance of ecosystemic services along with other adaptation strategies.
The key tools used by the Climate Observatory to support society in its search for information on the impacts of climate change and monitoring methods are the Greenhouse Gas Emission Estimate System (SEEG); the Electric Monitor; the Agricultural Monitor and MapBiomas – a platform for monitoring soil use changes created in a partnership with Google.