Mr. Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson, Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources, emphasized nature-based solutions like afforestation, revegetation, and reclamation of wetlands in his address at the Climate Adaptation Summit held on January 25th. Such solutions create synergies, as they benefit climate, biodiversity and development, and help combat desertification, Mr. Guðbrandsson said.
Ministers from numerous countries, as well as representatives from international organizations, NGOs and others attended the summit hosted by the Netherlands to promote discussions and cooperation on adaptation to climate change.
In his address, Mr. Guðbrandsson stated that climate change is affecting Iceland, like other parts of the world. Rapidly retreating glaciers may be the most visible effect, but invisible effects, such as ocean acidification, may be of even greater concern, as it threatens marine ecosystems.
The Minister explained that Iceland has recently increased its efforts on climate change and that work on a comprehensive adaptation strategy has been launched. Adaptation, however, is not enough, he said. Mitigation should always be at the forefront of climate actions – the more emissions are limited, the less adjustment is needed.
“Iceland has recently increased its efforts for nature-based solutions through afforestation, revegetation and reclamation of wetlands. We announced last month that we will take a further step, more than doubling our efforts in terms of planted trees and area of degraded land that is restored,” Mr. Guðbrandsson said. “Worldwide, we need to halt the assault on natural forests and ecosystems and recover damaged ones. This is important for soil conservation, flood regulation and conserving our rapidly declining biodiversity.”