Introducing naturebase: a new tool to scale up natural climate solutions for reaching our global goals

Briefing Room 13.11.23

Posted by Lucy Almond, Nature4Climate

Natural ecosystems are embedded into every aspect of our lives – from the air we breathe, the food we eat, the places we go to the livelihoods we sustain. However, the crucial role that natural ecosystems play in helping regulate our climate is still not prioritised. Enter naturebase: a new free data platform that turns peer-reviewed science into actionable information. Naturebase is a one-stop shop for anyone looking to implement natural climate solutions pathways anywhere on the planet. 

Protecting, restoring and sustainably managing natural ecosystems provide incredible potential to sequester carbon from the atmosphere – at the scale of one-third of the climate solution needed to meet Paris Agreement targets. Yet, more than half of international and regional nature commitments show only small signs or no progress at all. On top of that, finance for nature-based solutions remains way below where it should be: they only receive about 8% of public and 17% of private funding for climate action, resulting in a $230 billion funding gap that needs to be addressed to unlock this potential fully.

Transparency and accessibility to science-backed data and guidance can help bridge those barriers. Knowing precisely why, where and how to put nature into action can help attract the much-needed funding and policy action that will enable successful implementation and scale-up of solutions across the globe.

Naturebase: A starting point to unlock the power of nature

The platform, available on a beta version from November 27, integrates an array of data and information acquired through various technologies, including satellite data analysis and land system modelling, as well as machine learning. It assembles and validates existing knowledge rooted in peer-reviewed scientific research, presenting a comprehensive repository of information. The platform is designed to provide data on:  

  • Mitigation potential and benefits to help identify high-integrity, cost-effective natural climate solutions across countries, regions and districts. 
  • Additional benefits, including biodiversity protection, as well as impacts on wellbeing and human rights. 
  • Best practices, opportunities and feasibility constraints. 
  • Supportive policies and illustrative case studies from around the globe.  

With the help of naturebase, policymakers can find the right information to develop more comprehensive climate plans to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Practitioners can find guidance on implementing high-integrity projects that benefit people and nature at the same time as removing carbon. Project managers can better execute smart strategies and maximise mitigation outcomes. Investors will be able to identify the best projects to invest in, and the role of Indigenous Peoples and local communities as stewards of nature will be elevated, helping attract direct finance for their protection.

Developed by Nature4Climate partners, the platform is a product of collaborative effort from experts across environmental organisations, research institutes and universities. The beta version of naturebase invites users to provide feedback and submit ideas, where users can contribute to shaping the platform and helping us make it just the right tool for enabling action everywhere in the world.

Why nature is key to tackling the climate crisis  

Climate change and biodiversity loss are deeply intertwined, and neither can be solved on their own.

Changes in rainfall due to global warming can cause loss of habitats and the depletion of ecosystems resulting in biodiversity loss. This reduces nature’s ability to store carbon, thus aggravating climate change. It also negatively affects crop production, directly impacting people’s livelihoods and the economy. 

Natural climate solutions are actions to protect, better manage and restore nature to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and store carbon. Avoiding forest conversion, reforesting degraded lands, and applying sustainable management of working lands through agroforestry are all examples of natural climate solutions. 

Research shows that, together with the need to phase out fossil fuels and accelerate the transition to renewable energy, these strategies offer immediate and cost-effective ways to tackle climate change.  

And yet, implementation of natural climate solutions at scale still faces the challenge of lack of knowledge and accessibility to existing science and data. These include knowing which strategy is most effective in a certain area, and respecting local conditions such as local biomes, practices and enabling conditions. Naturebase will provide decision-makers with the data and resources they need to plan and implement high-integrity nature projects that benefit people and biodiversity while advancing decarbonisation

What do natural climate solutions look like in practice? 

Natural climate solutions are ready to be deployed now – all over the world. Despite global funding and implementation challenges, projects advancing natural climate solutions offer insights into their effectiveness. From South to North, East to West, people have been taking action, leading the way to unlock the power of nature for our collective future. 

For example, take the Panamean Indigenous tribe of Alto Bayano. Using traditional knowledge paired with natural climate solutions such as agroforestry, they have planted over 90,000 native species on 90 hectares of community land. In doing so, they not only rescued their forests but also their culture which is deeply intertwined with nature. Protecting Panama’s intact forests and restoring native tree cover can sequester around 25 million metric tons of CO2e per year while providing economic support to local communities by selling carbon credits.

Naturebase features a variety of real-world stories like this, focussing on peoples’ experiences as they successfully protect, restore and sustainably manage their lands across different countries and regions to inspire climate ambition. 

Together we can close the gap  

To tackle the climate crisis, we must vastly increase our ambition across all fronts. Addressing climate change will require many solutions – there’s no single solution; every action matters. But almost all of the solutions needed to reach net-zero emissions and achieve a nature-positive future exist today. They range from transforming the world’s energy systems and raising climate finance commitments to unlock the potential of nature. 

Together, we can take action to protect, better manage and restore nature and keep our climate goals within reach. Join the naturebase community to shape the future of the platform – and the planet. Sign up now to join and test our beta version of the tool: 

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“Without protecting and restoring our ecosystems, we have no chance of achieving the Paris goals, getting to the 1.5C target or buffering the impacts of an already disrupted climate.”

Mirey Atallah, Head of Nature for Climate Branch at United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)