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Climate Change

Climate change is the greatest environmental challenge the world has ever faced.

© WWF Caucasus

Global warming is likely to be the greatest cause of species extinctions in this century. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a 1.5°C average global temperature rise may put 20-30% of species at risk of extinction. If the planet warms by more than 2°C, most ecosystems will struggle. Many of the world's biggest challenges–from poverty to wildlife extinction–are more difficult to tackle due to climate change. If we do nothing, things will get worse. We have the knowledge and the technology to reduce our impact on the climate and ease the pressures on the world's most vulnerable places, people and wildlife. It's time to rethink! Politics, economy and society must act immediately and efficiently against the impending climate catastrophe.

We are the last generation that can stop devastating climate change.

© WWF/Aurel Heidelberg

The Caucasus region is already experiencing changes to the climate caused by global warming, with increasing temperatures, shrinking glaciers, sea level rise, reduction and redistribution of river flows, decreasing snowfall and an upward shift of the snow line and timberline. Extreme weather events have become more frequent during the last 20 years, causing flooding, landslides, forest fires and coastal erosion with significant economic loss and human casualties. Damage due to flooding, hail, drought and erosion in all three South Caucasus countries amounted to hundreds of millions of euros of damage in the last 10 years.

Climate change is predicted to significantly affect the region in the future as well. In the western Caucasus, projected higher summer temperatures and longer dry periods will reduce the habitable range of many endemic species.

WWF is working to boost nature-based solutions for climate change worldwide by emphasising the benefits of protecting biodiversity and restoring nature to businesses, cities, communities and countries.

WWF has developed strategies for increasing the resilience of forests to climate change and has applied some of those strategies on the ground by implementing transformative silvicultural measures in degraded forest stands in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia.

© WWF / Vajiko Kochiashvili