School of GeoSciences

Postponed: Win-Wins for Climate, Nature & People: integrating climate and ecosystem actions to address climate change and the sustainable use of natural resources

** Postponed until further notice ** This international symposium (previously scheduled for 5 and 6 November 2020) will explore climate change impacts, adaptation and mitigation with respect to the world’s biodiversity and ecosystems. It will focus on identifying ‘win-win’ actions that both mitigate climate change and have positive co-benefits for the sustainable use of natural resources. Such actions need to be underpinned by state-of-the-art science to inform robust implementation at the science-policy and science-business interfaces. The symposium will be hosted in Edinburgh in the run-up to the UNFCCC COP26 in Glasgow, and will be rescheduled as soon as the new dates are availabe.

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Climate change will have far-reaching implications for the natural resources upon which humanity depends. Food security, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning within the marine, freshwater and terrestrial realms will experience both the direct impacts of climate change through changing patterns of temperature and precipitation, but also the indirect effects arising from land use change, pollution and invasive alien species. 

The natural world will be severely affected by the direct and indirect impacts of climate change, but may also suffer from attempts to mitigate the climate change problem itself. However, there are many potential co-benefits (win-wins) of mitigation and adaptation actions that could contribute to the achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Edinburgh Symposium

Where: John McIntyre Conference Centre, Pollock Halls, Edinburgh

When: New dates to be confirmed (previously 5 and 6 November 2020)

Cost: £100 (a number of funded student places will be available)

The Edinburgh Symposium on ‘Win-Wins for Climate, Nature & People’ will explore the many facets of these complex issues. The symposium will bring together academics, policy makers and practitioners to both identify critical problems and to investigate potential solutions. The symposium will tackle important questions affecting the role of climate change in the sustainable use of natural resources, such as:

  • How will climate change impact food security, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, and what adaptation measures are best able to respond to these impacts?
  • How could the maintenance and restoration of ecosystems contribute to climate change mitigation?
  • How could large-scale, land-based mitigation and climate-engineering affect food security, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning?
  • What are the major existing and emerging feedbacks between the land surface, the oceans and the climate system?
  • Which approaches have co-benefits in both adapting to, and mitigating, climate change?
  • What sustainable financing mechanisms are available to support action on this topic?
  • What metrics, monitoring and policy frameworks are required to realise sustainable ‘Win-wins for climate and nature’?

The symposium will be timed to coincide with the critical UNFCCCs COP26 in Glasgow (new dates to be confirmed). It is timely given the UNFCCCs core topics of: action on climate and SDGs, adaptation and resilience, capacity building, climate finance, climate technology and land use.  

Panel sessions

Over the course of the two days, a series of panel sessions will be themed around the following topics:

  • Food Security (e.g. sustainable production/consumption, diets, waste, value chains)
  • Oceans and Coasts (protected areas, fishers, blue carbon, coastal protection)
  • Peatlands and Soils (peatland restoration, soil C enhancement)
  • Forests and Woodlands (Forest degradation, deforestation, afforestation (incl. REDD+ context), climate risks, agroforestry)
  • Sustainable Finance & Regulation (mechanisms, green equity, bonds, offsets, carbon tariffs
  • Just Transition (Social inequalities, governance, co-production with business and resilience, employment, skills)

Organising committee

Professor Mark Rounsevell, Professor of Rural Economy and Sustainability

Professor Dave Reay, Professor of Carbon Management and Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation

Dr Kathi Kaesehage, Lecturer in Climate Change and Business Strategy

Professor Sandy Tudhope, Professor of Climate Science

Professor Andrew Millar, Scottish Government Chief Scientific Adviser for Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture, and Chair of Systems Biology

Sanne Dijkstra-Downie, Philanthropy Manager, GeoSciences

Rebecca Whitefield, Events and Protocol Assistant