Climate change is the greatest long-term threat to biodiversity globally. The warming of the planet due to greenhouse gases released by human activity is already damaging ecosystems and making other threats worse. These threats and their impacts will increase in the coming decades.
Animals, plants and ecosystems are already being affected by climate change. Reduced rainfall shortens growing seasons and decreases the availability of food, habitat and water. Higher temperatures impose stresses on animals and plants, which can lead to reduced breeding success or increased mortality rates.
Climate change can also trigger shifts in the distribution of plants and animals, flowering times and mating seasons, and disrupt migratory patterns.
The work that Trust for Nature does addresses these climate-change impacts in different ways.
Protecting native habitat helps capture and store carbon dioxide which otherwise would have gone into the atmosphere. As of 2022 properties protected with conservation covenants and Trust for Nature’s reserves store about 4.2 million tonnes of carbon.
Restoring and improving habitat will increase the amount of carbon stored over time and help contribute to reduced overall emissions of greenhouse gases as long as emissions fall in other parts of society such as energy and agriculture.
Our conservation work also aims to target our protection efforts in those areas where ecosystems, animals and plants have the best chance of persisting in the face of climate change. These include our 18 focal landscapes, as well as mapped climate change refuges and mapped priority locations for threatened flora and fauna.
With the support of partners, donors and volunteers, we look forward to protecting more of Victoria and creating more robust and healthy environments over the next decade and beyond.
If you are a Trust for Nature covenantor you are already taking vital action to reduce the impacts of climate change—you just might not realise it. Clearing trees and other plants increases greenhouse gases so protecting plants from development forever with a conservation covenant means this won’t happen.
Conservation work not only builds resilience on your property, it also has wider benefits in your local area for biodiversity and carbon sequestration.