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Biodiversity-led green infrastructure in a changing climate

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The south coast region of British Columbia, and the neighboring Pacific Northwest US states, Oregon and Washington, are dominated by coastal, marine, freshwater, high alpine, and forest ecosystems. This rich biodiversity has significant social, environmental, and economic value, and includes a unique range of flora and fauna. Development of ecological networks at the regional scale is being globally advocated for as a strategy to responding to growing concern regarding the declining biodiversity while building resilience to climate change. The purpose of this report is to investigate the intersection of the global loss of biodiversity and climate change adaptation planning, and specifically answer the question; what is the best management practice for developing green infrastructure networks as a climate change response that also benefits biodiversity? The research is based on publications on green infrastructure and the growing body of work on advancing nature-based solutions to climate change; it was also guided by the expert opinion provided by an interdisciplinary panel with expertise in the field of green infrastructure. The report provides case-study analyses at various scales, the Yellowstone to Yukon initiative, Chicago Metropolitan area, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Engineering With Nature program. These case studies highlight ways of identifying and effectively communicating the benefits to biodiversity of green infrastructure implementation, when using an ecosystem and biodiversity perspective. The findings from this study are synthesized into five broad recommendations for governments in the Pacific Northwest region, particularly highlighting the benefits to be achieved through interdisciplinary engagement and coordinated policy-formulation among various governmental agencies.
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