Transforming landscapes

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Ch2TransformaingLandscapes.pdf(3.15 MB)
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Moriarty, Róisín
Daly, Hannah
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Key messages: Transformative change across multiple systems interconnected in the landscape offers a myriad benefits and opportunities in the fight against climate change and biodiversity loss, with wider gains for society and the economy. Of all transformations, inappropriate land management can have ‘severe and unintended consequences’, particularly for biodiversity loss, with implications for climate action and society. While conflicting land-use objectives cannot be avoided, decisions that maximise synergies while managing trade-offs can significantly reduce conflicts while enhancing benefits and opportunities. A long-term integrated strategy for land-use management is necessary if this is to be achieved. Climate change and biodiversity loss share many underlying drivers related to unsustainable resource use, including the use of land. Tackling these crises together enhances synergies while managing the trade-offs that exist between them. Social benefits include sustainable job creation and the protection and enhancement of human wellbeing. Such benefits aid the social transformation required to enable action on climate change and biodiversity loss. If planned and managed in an appropriate manner, carbon stores on land can be maintained and enhanced. Afforestation is a cost-effective and scalable option for carbon removal. There is an emerging industry and bioeconomy around forestry in Ireland. Forests have the potential to become centres for cultural heritage, craftmanship, traditional knowledge and innovation, alongside diversifying livelihood options in rural communities. Nature conservation (immediate benefits) and restoration (longer-term benefits) are cost-effective, enhance carbon removals and reduce vulnerability and strengthen synergies between mitigation and adaptation actions. Benefits include improved food security, nutrition, health, wellbeing, support for livelihoods and sustainability and ensuring nature’s contributions to people.
Climate change , Biodiversity loss , Inappropriate land management , Land-use management , Nature conservation
Moriarty, R. and Daly, H.(2023) 'Transforming landscapes' in Moriarty, R., O’Mahony, T., Stefaniec, A. and Boucher, J. L. (2023) Ireland's Climate Change Assessment Volume 4: Realising the benefits of transition and transformation. Johnstown Castle, Co. Wexford, Ireland: Environmental Protection Agency, pp. 50-73. Available at: (Accessed: 13 March 2024)
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