Climate change is the most pressing challenge facing people and nature in North America. Natural climate solutions, such as harnessing nature's ability to mitigate flood risk or offset carbon emissions, provide readily available and cost-effective solutions that directly address these challenges and yield multiple benefits to people and nature. This session will use coastal North Carolina as an example and detail how significant climate risks (and opportunities) drove the development of a comprehensive approach to adapting to and mitigating climate change through conservation. Participants will learn about assessing climate risk and ways to incorporate natural solutions into their own conservation portfolio. We will outline the importance of forging new partnerships with community leaders and leveraging existing policy and market mechanisms to increase the scale and impact of conservation. Specifically, we will discuss our work with communities to leverage familiar programs like the National Flood Insurance Program's Community Rating System to value natural system conservation as a preferred approach to address flood risk. This session will also cover our development of a carbon accounting methodology to reduce carbon emissions and drive pocosin restoration at scale through the sale of carbon offsets. Finally, participants will learn about how regional-scale management of natural systems like oyster reefs is critical to ensure the long-term stability of these solutions.
Session Level: Advanced Session Location: Raleigh Convention Center