Nature-based Solutions for Climate Change: Data Collection

 

Actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural or modified ecosystems, that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, simultaneously providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits.

About this data collection

Protecting, restoring, and sustainably managing nature can provide one third of the solution needed to mitigate climate change, while also providing additional benefits for climate change adaptation, biodiversity conservation, and sustainable development. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report states that humanity has less than 10 years left to take action on climate change and prevent planetary warning from exceeding 1.5°C, while the Intergovernmental Panel on BIodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) report cites an unprecedented decline in nature with over 1 million species at risk of extinction. If action is not taken immediately to protect, sustainably manage and restore nature, not only will nature continue to decline, but so will human well-being, as nature provides a safety net of resources and ecosystem services for billions of people. Nature-based solutions are defined as “actions to protect, sustainably manage and restore natural and modified ecosystems, that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, simultaneously providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits”.

How to use this data collection

The Nature-based Solutions for Climate Collection examines nature-based actions for protection, sustainable management, and restoration across different ecosystems to support achievement of the three Rio Conventions - the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance - and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Explore the collection in three easy steps:

  1. Browse the key policy questions provided below.
  2. Select a question of interest to view a description of the map available, input data layers, and policy relevance.
  3. Click view data to view a map that provides input to address the question.  

Note: These policy-relevant questions and associated data layers are provided for users to develop their own prioritization when pursuing nature-based solutions for climate change. While global layers from the UNBL public platform are used here, users may also want to consider using national data to create similar overlays via our UNBL workspaces.


Data layers to address policy-relevant questions

 

 

 

 

Name Description Policy relevance Ecosystems Included layers
Biomass carbon This map presents above and below ground biomass carbon density showing extent and distribution UNFCCC All
  • UNEP-WCMC terrestrial carbon density
  • NASA aboveground biomass carbon
  • NASA belowground biomass carbon
  • NatureMap live biomass carbon density

View data

Name Description Policy relevance Ecosystems Included layers
Soil carbon This map presents soil organic carbon density showing extent and distribution UNFCCC All
  • UNEP-WCMC soil organic carbon density
  • GLOSIS soil organic carbon
  • NatureMap vulnerable soil carbon density

View data

Name Description Policy relevance Ecosystems Included layers
Total carbon Density (soil + biomass) This map presents combined carbon density showing extent and distribution UNFCCC All
  • UNEP-WCMC terrestrial carbon density – soil organic and biomass carbon

View data

Name Description Policy relevance Ecosystems Action Included layers
Forests and carbon storage This map presents forest ecosystems and carbon storage, identifying opportunities for conservation and sustainable management of forests with carbon benefits. CBD, UNFCCC Forests Manage, Protect
  • Global tree cover 2000
  • NatureMap live biomass carbon density
  • NatureMap vulnerable soil carbon density

View data

Name Description Policy relevance Ecosystems Action Included layers
Forests, protected areas and OECMs, carbon storage and biodiversity This map presents forest ecosystems, protected areas, carbon stocks and biodiversity, identifying opportunities for safeguarding remaining intact forest ecosystems, especially with high carbon stocks and biodiversity. CBD, UNFCCC Forests Protect
  • Global tree cover 2000
  • Protected areas
  • Other effective area-based conservation measures
  • Tree cover loss
  • Forest landscape integrity index
  • NatureMap live biomass carbon density
  • NatureMap vulnerable soil carbon density
  • NatureMap areas of global significance for biodiversity conservation and carbon storage
  • Global Safety Net: Climate stabilisation Areas

View data

Name Description Policy relevance Ecosystems Action Included layers
Forests, restoration and carbon storage This map presents forest ecosystems, restoration and carbon, identifying opportunities for restoring degraded or fragmented forest ecosystems and high carbon stocks. CBD, UNFCCC Forests Restore
  • NatureMap Areas of Global Significance for Restoration
  • NatureMap potential natural vegetation 
  • Tree cover loss
  • Forest Structural Integrity Index (of tropical areas)
  • Forest connectivity
  • Forest landscape integrity index

View data

Name Description Policy relevance Ecosystems Action Included layers
Wetlands and carbon storage This map presents wetland ecosystems and carbon storage, identifying opportunities for conservation and sustainable management of wetlands for carbon. CBD, UNFCCC, Ramsar Wetlands Manage
  • Global wetlands: Tropical and subtropical wetlands distribution
  • Wetlands of international importance (Ramsar Sites)
  • JRC Global Surface Water - Occurrence 1984-2018
  • UNEP-WCMC terrestrial carbon density 
  • NatureMap live biomass carbon density
  • NatureMap vulnerable soil carbon density
  • Mangrove forests
  • Global mangrove soil carbon

View data

Name Description Policy relevance Ecosystems Action Included layers
Wetlands, protected areas and OECMs, carbon This map presents wetland ecosystems, protected areas, carbon stocks and biodiversity, identifying opportunities for safeguarding remaining wetland ecosystems, especially with high carbon stocks and biodiversity. CBD, UNFCCC, Ramsar Wetlands Protect
  • Global wetlands: Tropical and subtropical wetlands distribution
  • Wetlands of international importance (Ramsar Sites)
  • JRC Global Surface Water 1984-2018 
  • NatureMap areas of global significance for biodiversity conservation and carbon Storage
  • Protected areas
  • Other effective area-based conservation measures
  • NatureMap live biomass carbon density
  • Global Safety Net: Climate stabilisation areas 
  • Mangrove forests
  • Global mangrove soil carbon

View data

Name Description Policy relevance Ecosystems Action Included layers
Wetland restoration, and carbon storage This map presents wetland ecosystems, restoration, and carbon, identifying opportunities for restoring wetlands with high carbon stocks. CBD, UNFCCC, Ramsar Wetlands Restore
  • Global wetlands: Tropical and subtropical wetlands distribution 
  • Wetlands of international importance (Ramsar Sites)
  • JRC Global Surface Water 1984-2018 data
  • NatureMap areas of global significance for restoration
  • NatureMap live biomass carbon density
  • NatureMap potential natural vegetation 
  • Mangrove forests
  • Global mangrove soil carbon

View data

Name Description Policy relevance Ecosystems Action Included layers
Marine and coastal ecosystems and carbon storage This map presents marine and coastal ecosystems distribution and carbon storage, identifying opportunities for sustainable management of marine and coastal ecosystems for carbon. CBD, UNFCCC Coastal Ecosystems Manage
  • Mangrove forests
  • Global distribution of seagrasses 
  • Global distribution of cold-water corals
  • Global distribution of warm-water coral reefs
  • Global mangrove soil carbon 
  • Global patterns in marine sediment carbon stocks 
  • Marine priorities for carbon

View data

Name Description Policy relevance Ecosystems Action Included layers
Marine and coastal ecosystems, protected areas and OECMs, biodiversity, and carbon storage This map presents marine and coastal ecosystems, protected areas and carbon stocks, identifying opportunities for sustainable safeguarding remaining marine and coastal ecosystems, especially with high carbon stocks. CBD, UNFCCC Coastal Ecosystems Protect
  • Marine protected areas
  • Marine OECMs
  • Ecologically Or Biologically Significant Marine Areas (EBSAs)
  • Mangrove forests
  • Global distribution of seagrasses 
  • Global distribution of cold-water corals
  • Global distribution of warm-water coral reefs
  • Global mangrove soil carbon 
  • Global patterns in marine sediment carbon stocks
  • Marine priorities for carbon 
  • Marine priority areas For biodiversity

View data

Name Description Policy relevance Ecosystems Action Included layers
Marine and coastal ecosystem restoration, and carbon storage This map presents marine and coastal ecosystems, restoration and carbon, identifying opportunities for restoring wetland with high carbon stocks. CBD, UNFCCC Coastal Ecosystems Restore
  • NatureMap Areas of global significance for restoration
  • Mangrove forests
  • Seagrass (protected and conserved areas)
  • Global distribution of seagrasses 
  • Global distribution of cold-water corals
  • Global distribution of warm-water coral reefs
  • Global mangrove soil carbon 
  • Global patterns in marine sediment carbon stocks
  • Marine priorities for carbon 

View data

Name Description Policy relevance Ecosystems Action Included layers
Croplands and carbon storage This map presents croplands and carbon, identifying where croplands overlap with areas of high carbon storage. CBD, UNFCCC Croplands Manage
  • Increase in soil organic carbon in croplands after 20 years
  • ESRI land cover 10m (crops)

View data

Name Description Policy relevance Ecosystems Action Included layers
Croplands, protected areas and OECMs, and carbon storage This map presents croplands, protected areas, carbon stocks and biodiversity, identifying where croplands coincide with  protected areas and offer opportunities for safeguarding high levels of carbon stocks. CBD, UNFCCC Croplands Manage
  • ESRI land cover 10m (crops)
  • Global Safety Net: Climate stabilisation areas
  • GLOSIS - Global soil organic carbon 
  • Increase in soil organic carbon in croplands after 20 years
  • Protected areas
  • OECMs

View data

Name Description Policy relevance Ecosystems Action Included layers
Croplands rehabilitation and carbon storage This map presents croplands, restoration and carbon, identifying opportunities for rehabilitating croplands with high carbon stocks. CBD, UNFCCC Croplands Restore
  • ESRI land cover 10m (crops)
  • GLOSIS - Global soil organic carbon 
  • Increase in soil organic carbon in croplands after 20 years
  • JRC world atlas on desertification - convergence of evidence

View data

Name Description Policy relevance Ecosystems Action Included layers
Grasslands and carbon storage  This map presents grasslands and carbon storage, identifying opportunities for sustainable management of grasslands for carbon. CBD, UNFCCC Grasslands Manage
  • ESA CCI land cover 2020 (grasslands) 
  • NatureMap vulnerable soil carbon density 
  • GLOSIS - Global soil organic carbon 
  • Total biomass carbon in grasslands

View data

Name Description Policy relevance Ecosystems Action Included layers
Grasslands, protected areas and OECMs, carbon storage and biodiversity This map presents grasslands, protected areas, carbon stocks and biodiversity, identifying opportunities for safeguarding remaining grasslands, especially with high carbon stocks and biodiversity. CBD, UNFCCC Grasslands Manage
  • ESRI landcover 10m (grass) 
  • ESA CCI land cover 2020 (grasslands)
  • NatureMap vulnerable soil carbon density  
  • GLOSIS - Global soil organic carbon 
  • Total biomass carbon in grasslands
  • Protected areas
  • OECMs
  • Global Safety Net: Climate stabilisation areas

View data

Name Description Policy relevance Ecosystems Action Included layers
Grasslands restoration and carbon storage This map presents grasslands, restoration, and carbon, identifying opportunities for restoring grasslands with high carbon stocks. CBD, UNFCCC Grasslands Restore
  • NatureMap areas of global significance for restoration
  • NatureMap potential natural vegetation
  • ESRI land cover 10m (grass) 
  • ESA CCI land cover 2020 (grasslands)
  • NatureMap vulnerable soil carbon density  
  • GLOSIS - Global soil organic carbon 
  • Total biomass carbon in grasslands 

View data

The World Database on Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures (WD-OECM) was established in 2019, following the adoption of the OECM definition (https://www.cbd.int/decisions/cop/14/8) in 2018. Given that the database and definition were only recently developed, many governments have not yet reported data on OECMs, or have reported only a subset of their OECMs. Users should consider this when using the WD-OECM, and should not assume that countries without OECM data lack OECMs in reality, or that countries with OECM data have reported their full complement of OECMs. Users wishing to provide data on OECMs should contact UNEP-WCMC at OECM@unep-wcmc.org.