Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation Grants $650k to Accelerate Climate Change Solutions
By R20 Regions of Climate / Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation
Following the April signing of the Paris agreement, R20 Regions of Climate Action (R20) and Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF) announced the formation of a new partnership to rapidly identify and fund projects that address the urgency of climate change.
Financially supported by LDF under a new $650,000 grant, this partnership allows R20 to rapidly identify renewable energy, energy efficiency and waste management initiatives that have the potential to bring positive environmental and social benefits to communities across the globe and ultimately reduce carbon emissions. Under this framework, R20 will develop and construct these projects, as well as measure and report on their impact.
Together, R20 and LDF are following the mission of the Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance, (CCFLA) which was launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2014 to encourage investment in low-emission, climate resilient infrastructure in cities and to close the investment gap in climate friendly projects in urban areas over 15 years.
"I commend LDF and R20 for supporting the goals of the CCFLA. Partnerships like this one strengthen the effort to unlock billions of dollars of private investment in projects that will urgently address climate change," Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. “I thank them for their commitment to our environment and to the future of humanity."
“The Paris agreement was an important first step for reducing global carbon emissions, but there is more that must be done to accomplish this important goal," Leonardo DiCaprio, chairman of Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, said. "Our partnership with R20 is a signal that it is also the responsibility of private organizations to take up the charge of accelerating the adoption of climate-saving technologies, worldwide. We call on others to follow our lead because our planet is quickly running out of time."
R20 was founded to support governments and communities in the identification, preparation and financing of green projects to lower greenhouse gas emissions and help the world transition to a green economy.
“R20 and LDF share an unwavering commitment to taking bold action on climate change by supporting proven solutions that will impact real change for our planet," Christophe Nuttall, executive director of R20, said. “With the support of our partners at LDF, we will help set a model for CCFLA members, governments and organizations take action to develop their own climate solutions in all parts of the globe."
R20 was named the Secretariat for the CCFLA in partnership with World Fund for Cities (FMDV), United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in January 2016.
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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Naomi Larsson
For centuries, the delicate silver dove has been a symbol of love and fidelity.
Biodiversity and Habitat Loss<p>Their near extinction is a symbol of the <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/global-biodiversity-outlook-targets-extinction-summit-new-york-pledge/a-54932895" target="_blank">biodiversity crisis</a> in the UK, largely driven by habitat destruction. Britain is now one of the countries with the most <a href="https://www.wwf.org.uk/future-of-UK-nature#:~:text=The%20UK%20is%20one%20of,than%20half%20are%20in%20decline" target="_blank">depleted nature</a> in the world according to the World Wildlife Fund. Half its plant and animal species are in decline and more than <a href="https://www.rspb.org.uk/about-the-rspb/about-us/media-centre/press-releases/let-nature-sing-wales/#:~:text=a%20natural%20tragedy.-,Over%2040%20million%20birds%20have%20vanished%20from%20UK%20skies%20in,unaware%20of%20the%20impending%20danger" target="_blank">40 million birds</a> have vanished in just half a century.</p><p>"[Turtle doves] are the canary in the [coal] mine because there are all these other species before it and after it," said Tree. "It's an umbrella for all the other species that are heading that way."</p><p>Turtle doves migrate south through Europe to sub-Saharan Africa between July and September, ending up in dry woodland and farmland areas of countries like Mali and Senegal for winter. </p><p>Droughts in West Africa and the Sahel region are believed to have contributed to the fall in turtle dove species recorded in northern Europe, with low rainfall reducing supplies of the seeds and insects the birds rely on for energy for the long journey home.</p>
Conservation and Farming<p><a href="https://www.operationturtledove.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Operation Turtle Dove,</a> a partnership project of charities including the Essex Wildlife trust, works with landowners and farmers to actively build turtle dove habitat.</p><p>Outten works with <a href="https://www.ebws.org.uk/birdsites/blue-house-farm-ewt-north-fambridge" target="_blank">Blue House Farm</a>, a 660-acre nature reserve in the UK county of Essex, where they have replicated weedy fallow plots. </p><p>"We work on it every year to make sure it's in the condition it needs to be with plants such as clovers and black medic," Outten said. "These plants are native to the landscape and produce the seed the birds feed on." </p><p>The birds eat a wide range of seeds from various plants that would have been abundant 50 or 100 years ago, added Guy Anderson, program manager for species recovery with The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). </p><p>"But it's simply true that with the gradual process of <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/farming-without-pesticides-how-can-we-make-agriculture-greener/a-52216796" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">intensifying our agricultural production</a>, the availability of those seeds has dropped and dropped," said Anderson.</p><p>Part of the project includes supplementary feeding — providing sources of food in the form of seed or grain. Under the Countryside Stewardship Scheme in England, farmers can receive financial support to create a turtle dove habitat. </p><p>Though they haven't recorded an increase in doves across the sites in the four years of working on the project, Outten said they are seeing improvements in how landowners and farmers manage habitat for the birds. </p>
A Turtle Dove Haven<p>The 3,500-acre Knepp Estate in West Sussex is another project taking a different approach and one of the few places where turtle dove numbers are increasing.</p><p>Isabella Tree and her husband Charlie Burrell converted their intensively farmed land into a rewilding project almost 20 years ago. They have let the land return to nature.</p><p>Just one year after they'd finished <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/uks-most-talented-architects-are-not-human/a-35952128" target="_blank">rewilding</a> the southern part of their property, they heard turtle doves for the first time. It's now a breeding hotspot for the birds with an estimated 19 pairs. Knepp is also home to <a href="https://www.rewildingbritain.org.uk/rewilding/rewilding-projects/knepp-estate" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">2% of the UK's population</a> of nightingales. </p><p>Tree is critical of supplementary feeding schemes that, in her view, are short term. She questions the chances of turtle doves getting to feed on scattered seeds before other mammals eat them first.</p>
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Green groups applauded Sen. Jeff Merkley on Wednesday for introducing a pioneering pair of bills that aim to "protect the long-term health and well-being of the American people and their economy from the catastrophic effects of climate chaos" by preventing banks and international financial institutions from financing fossil fuels.