Archive for December, 2011

Blizzards, Droughts, Floods and Fires: Wild Weather Tops 2011 Highlight Reel

Written by Lisa Hayden on . Posted in Extreme weather, Learn


As 2011 comes to a close, no year-in-review retrospective would be complete without noting the many wild and memorable weather events of the past 12 months. A dozen disasters totaled more than $1 billion in damages each this year, setting a record. You can watch the CBS News interview with Conservancy Lead Scientist M. Sanjayan about the year’s remarkable weather in this post.

Averting “Natural” Disaster in Our Forests

Written by Cole Genge on . Posted in Learn

800px-San_jose_antigua_guatemala_cathedral_2009_chensiyuan Wikimedia Commons

A mountain stream’s gurgling and the soft voice of Kao Sisompou, a village forester from Lao People’s Democratic Republic, reverberated off the 300-year-old stone walls of the San Jose ruins. I was seated in the middle of a long nave in what had once been a majestic Spanish church in Antigua, Guatemala, and I reflected on the juxtaposition of setting and the speech’s subject. In a church that had been saved from destruction, I was party to a discussion of the world’s disappearing forests, which are in bad need of rescue.

COP 17 Resources

Written by Paul Mackie on . Posted in COP17, The Wonk Room

The annual United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP) Climate Change Conference, COP17 for short, is taking place this week (Nov 28) and next (week of Dec 5) in Durban, South Africa. Check out the official COP17 web site here: The Nature Conservancy is at COP17 to demonstrate how natural solutions can help fight […]

Help Save the Planet this Holiday Season—Cut Down a Tree

Written by Frank Lowenstein on . Posted in Uncategorized

frank xmas trees

As someone who’s worked at The Nature Conservancy for over 15 years, I suppose you could say I’m a professional tree-hugger. In fact, a large portion of my professional life has been spent protecting forest health. So what I’m going to say next may sound a bit out of character: This holiday season, go cut down a tree. And ask your friends and family to do the same.

Conservancy Science Helps Communities Cope with Tanzania’s Changing Climate

Written by Lisa Hayden on . Posted in COP17, Learn


What does climate change mean for Africa?

To learn how the planet is changing in Tanzania, watch this video of Elizabeth Gray, an ecologist and Global Climate Change Fellow for the Conservancy’s Africa program, who took time out during the recent United Nations climate change conference in Durban, South Africa, to explain climate adaptation work underway in Tanzania.

Marathon Climate Talks Inch Ball Forward While Climate Change Barrels Ahead

Written by Duncan Marsh on . Posted in COP17, The Wonk Room

a_huddle gets deal done_IMG_3285

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA — After negotiations that lasted into overtime by an extra day and night, governments from 194 countries meeting at the UN climate conference in Durban, South Africa have agreed to extend the Kyoto Protocol to reduce carbon emissions. They also established a pathway that should lead to a more ambitious global framework for reducing emissions, and have opened the Green Climate Fund to assist developing countries’ efforts to address climate change.

“These agreements are important steps forward for global cooperation, yet it is clear that the outcomes in Durban fall well short of meeting the urgency of the climate challenge,” said Duncan Marsh, international climate policy director at The Nature Conservancy.

Delegates Deadlocked in Durban: United Nations Climate Talks Head into Overtime

Written by Lisa Hayden on . Posted in Act, COP17, The Wonk Room

COP 17 logo in landscaping Durban_Paul Mackie

The closing hour for the COP 17 climate change summit has come and gone, but the parties have agreed to keep negotiating on Saturday morning (that’s around 2 am Eastern Standard Time in the U.S.) Media reports were somewhat encouraging Thursday in that the U.S. and some other nations appeared to be signaling increased flexibility […]

Symbols of Change, Hope and Natural Solutions on Display at Durban Climate Conference

Written by Lisa Hayden on . Posted in COP17, Learn, The Wonk Room

Boabab tree Durban_Paul Mackie

Much of the media attention has focused on the high-level talks in closed-door meetings at the United Nations climate summit, but these annual conventions also serve to mobilize people, enabling networking, the exchange of creative ideas, and the search for symbols to inspire the challenging work that lies ahead for all nations in response to climate change.

Conservancy Protects Mozambique Coral Reefs and Studies Their Response to Ocean Warming

Written by Lisa Hayden on . Posted in COP17, Learn


In the East African nation of Mozambique, where 90 percent of the people live on less than $2 a day and depend heavily on fishing for survival, The Nature Conservancy is using its scientific expertise on the effects of climate change to protect and conserve fragile coral reefs. In the Primeiras and Segundas Archipelagos off Mozambique’s northern […]

REDD Grows Up

Written by Erin Myers Madeira on . Posted in COP17, The Wonk Room

goodall at ADP event

When I grow up, I want to be Jane Goodall.

Dr. Goodall’s time spent in the forests of Africa mean that she not only understands the intrinsic value and beauty of the forests themselves, she also deeply understands the interconnection of people and forests.

Yesterday, while addressing a crowd of hundreds at the Avoided Deforestation Partners event in COP-17 in Durban, she laid it out quite simply, as she recounted her return to Lake Tanganyika where poverty has fueled the deforestation that destroyed the once lush forests that surrounded the lake: “we can’t save the forests if we can’t save the people.”

Cool COP Morning: Durban Climate Talks Enter the Final Stretch

Written by Lisa Hayden on . Posted in Act, COP17, The Wonk Room

6459495719_2622a977c8_Flickr Karmen Meyer_Grandmothers protest at Durban

As the high-level negotiators get down to business at the United Nations climate summit in Durban, the world is awaiting the outcome.

With the global economy facing its own set of challenges, many analysts have predicted that a major break-through on a deal to limit global carbon emissions is unlikely. Nonetheless, many observers still hold out hope that significant progress might be made on a more limited range of issues, including the possibility of some intermediate process that would create yardsticks for the negotiations over the next several years.

About Planet Change

Planet Change is a Nature Conservancy blog site designed to share stories about actions the Conservancy and others around the world are taking to fight carbon pollution and the impacts of climate change, and to help people feel the connections between climate change and their daily lives and understand actions they can take.

The Nature Conservancy