Bionic Planet: Reversing Climate Change by Restoring Nature-logo

Bionic Planet: Reversing Climate Change by Restoring Nature


We've entered a new epoch: the Anthropocene, and nothing is as it was. Not the trees, not the seas – not the forests, farms, or fields – and not the global economy that depends on all of these. What does this mean for your investments, your family's future, and the future of man? Each week, we dive into these issues to help you Navigate the New Reality.


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We've entered a new epoch: the Anthropocene, and nothing is as it was. Not the trees, not the seas – not the forests, farms, or fields – and not the global economy that depends on all of these. What does this mean for your investments, your family's future, and the future of man? Each week, we dive into these issues to help you Navigate the New Reality.




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89 | How Agroforestry is Reshaping the Kenyan Countryside

This piece, adapted from a piece that first ran in 2016, serves as the fourth installment in our continuing series on carbon finance in Kenya. Today, we look at how carbon finance supports Sustainable Agriculture Land Management (SALM), which has doubled the average income of more than 30,000 Kenyan family farmers while pulling more than 1 million tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by increasing the carbon content of soils.


88 | The Gospel of REDD+ According to Bees

In part three of our continuing series from Kenya, we hear how the Chyulu Hills REDD+ Project helped people switch from burning trees for charcoal to conserving forests -- the their benefit and the benefit of us all.


087 | How Ending Deforestation Revived a Major River, Slowed Climate Change, and Saved Lives

Evans Maneno is Makueni County Ecosystem Conservator for the Kenya Forestry Service. He walks us through a tree nursery in the Chyulu Hills and explains how the Chyulu Hills REDD+ Project has reversed deforestation by helping people develop sustainable livelihoods -- reviving in the process a threatened river that provides water for people hundreds of miles away. Second in a series


86 | The Race to Save the Cloud Forests of Kenya's Chyulu Hills

A decade ago, the cloud forests of Kenya's Chyulu Hills were on the brink of collapse, threatening water supplies for the Tsavo and Amboseli Plains — and for the coastal City of Mombasa, 250 kilometers away. Then the Kenya Forestry and Wildlife Services teamed up with the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust, the Big Life Foundation, the Sheldrake Wildlife Trust, Conservation International, and, most importantly, grazing collectives, called “community group ranches” to launch the Chyulu Hills REDD+ Project — a thirty-year private-public partnership designed to save the hills by overhauling the rural economy. First in a series focused on ecological restoration in southern and central Kenya.


085 | Can Ghana Leverage REDD+ to Save its Cocoa Farmers? A conversation with Roselyn Fosuah Adjei of Ghana's Forestry Commission

Ghana's cocoa economy is second only to Côte d'Ivoire's, but climate change threatens to decimate it. Today's guest, Roselyn Fosuah Adjei of the Ghana Forestry Commission, is charged with leveraging carbon finance -- and specifically REDD+ -- to avert that disaster.


084 | Treeless Neighborhoods and Poverty: the Deadly Link and How to Address it

A 2021 study of trees in America showed that poor neighborhoods had far fewer trees than wealthier ones, and that translates into higher temperatures, poorer air, and more deaths. Jad Daley of American Forests explains the Tree Equity Score, what it means, and his organization's effort to plant -- and, more importantly, grow -- 522 million trees across American cities.


083 | What to Make of COP27, with Jos Cozijnsen of Climate Neutral Group

Jos Cozijnsen has been working the climate puzzle for decades -- first by helping to negotiate the Kyoto Protocol and then by helping NGOs like the Environmental Defense Fund craft legal policies with teeth. Today, he offers his take on the year-end climate talks (COP27), which took place last month in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. We discuss the Bridgetown Initiative, the African Carbon Markets Initiative, and the new Loss and Damage Fund -- as well as the bad-faith arguments of those seeking to undermine carbon markets by pretending to make them perfect.


082 | Every Tree on the Planet Mapped, with Sassan Saatchi of NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab.

Under the Paris Climate Agreement, countries must document all of their greenhouse gas emissions and sinks, and that means measuring changes in tree cover. NASA Senior Scientist Sassan Saatchi has spent 30 years helping the world’s space agencies and foresters do just that by blending the newest science of the space age with centuries-old practices from ship-building and forestry. Thanks, to him, countries will soon be able track the growth and decay of every tree within their borders.


081 | How to Build a Methodology, with Max DuBuisson of Indigo Ag

Just over four years ago, Max DuBuisson took on one of the most difficult challenges you can imagine: namely, spearheading the creation of a new carbon methodoilogy undr both the Verified Carbon Standard and the Climate Action Reserve. Dubbed the "Methodology for Improved Agricultural Land Management," it aims to expand the practice of climate-smart agriculture by paying farmers who adopt the practices before their neighbors do. This is the story of the creation of that methodology. Further reading:


80 | Forty Years of Sustainability Finance: Making ESG Work

Tim Mohin wrote "Changing Business from the Inside Out: A Tree-Hugger's Guide to Working in Corporations" back in 2012, after three decades in sustainability -- first in government, with the US Environmental Protection Agency, and then at companies like Intel, where he served as director of sustainable development. He went on to head the Global Reporting Initiative, which administers the GRI standards for sustainability. He recently helped launmch ESG data provider Persefoni and hosts his own podcast, "Sustainability Decoded with Tim and Caitlin." We look back on 40 years of sustaiability finance and ahead to the future of Environmental, Social, and corporate Governance (ESG) reporting -- its potential for driving real change, its prospects for employment, and its inherent limitations.


79 | Clean Water and the Courts: a Pre-History of Sackett vs EPA

On October 2, 2022, the US Supreme court heard a case that could impact the quality of water across the United States. Sackett v EPA dates back to 2004, but the forces impacting the case date back to the 1960s and, arguably, centuries earlier. Today we revisit a 2019 episode, where we dove deep into the history of the US Clean Water Act and the stealth effort to undermine it.


78 | Helping Farmers Save Forests in Guatemala's Caribbean Coast

Marco Cerezo of Guatemalan NGO FUNDAECO explains how he's using carbon finance to help Guatemalan farmers demarcate their land and save surrounding forests. Related Links:


77 | Where Does Healthy Critique End and Cynical Denial Begin?

The science-denial movement delayed action on climate change for decades, and now the tropes they used are creeping into coverage of emerging climate solutions. Here’s one way of differentiating between honest inquiry and something more nefarious. Third of a three-part series. All links available at:


76 | Six Lessons from 45 Years of Natural Climate Solutions

When popular media get natural climate solutions wrong, it’s usually because they’re struggling to understand complex mechanisms that have evolved over more than 45 years. Here is a brief look back on that evolution. Second of a three-part series adapted from Ecosystem Marketplace Click here for the original story and all related links:


75 l Coverage of Climate Solutions Suffer the Same Fate as Coverage of Climate Science?

News outlets are finally allocating resources to coverage of climate solutions, and most reporters are trying to get these complex issues right. Some, however, are repeating the same mistakes that derailed coverage of climate science itself for decades. Adapted from stories that first appeared on Ecosystem Marketplace, available here:


074 |Why the Global South Needs Voluntary Carbon Markets

We kick off Season Seven with a look at the Voluntary Carbon Market Global Dialogue and the six keys to making sure voluntary carbon markets work for the Global South. Guests: Adriaan Korthuis, Paul Butarbutar, Kuki Soejachmoen, and Annie Groth. Related Links:


073 | Why the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests may be More than Blah Blah, with Frances Seymour

A conversation with WRI Senior Fellow Frances Seymour, who says there's plenty of reason to believe the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use could deliver on its high ambition of ending and reversing deforestation -- not so much because of the declaration itself, but because of the constellation of world events that birthed it. Frances is also co-author of the book "Why Forests? Why Now? The Science, Economics, and Politics of Tropical Forests and Climate Change."


072 | Investing in Pure Climate Stocks, with Matthias Krey

From year-end climate talks in Glasgow: Want to put your money where your mouth is by investing in companies that move us closer to a net-zero economy? Matthias Krey of can help. He's identified hundreds of companies that he call "pure climate stocks", meaning stocks of companies that make 100% of their revenue from products and services that will help get us to net-zero emissions.


071 | The Down and Dirty, Nitty Gritty of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, Part 1

On the ground at year-end climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland, Maria Carvalho and Frédéric Gagnon-Lebrun of South Pole Climate Solutions dissect the intricacies of Article 6 of the Paris Climate Agreement. They explain not only how it works, but how it fits into the net-zero movement and the larger effort to meet the climate challenge.


Climate Quickie 1: Leveraging Restoration for Net Zero Tourism Worldwide

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), which is the United Nations specialized agency charged with promoting sustainable tourism, today unveiled the “Glasgow Declaration for Climate Action in Tourism” at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) here. The Declaration commits companies to cutting their emissions in half by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, with all residual emissions being absorbed through ecological restoration by 2050 at the latest. More than 300 stakeholders have signed the declaration, including the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), which represents more than 300 companies responsible for more than 70 percent of global tourism. “The commitment is to not only reduce the footprint by changing business as usual operations, but also offsetting…through blue carbon, for example,” said UNWTO Executive Director Zoritsa Urosevic in an interview with Ecosystem Marketplace. “This is going to become, maybe, the new tourism attraction, because it's going to have a value that is more than just the beach.” She said that the UNWTO is in the process of launching a net- zero tourism fund, with contributions from tourists being matched by tour operators. UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili conceded the gains that individual companies have made but stressed the need for a sector-wide effort involving government and international organizations as well. “The Glasgow Declaration is a tool to help bridge the gap between good intentions and meaningful climate action,” he said. Urosevic described an ambitious strategy for using tourism to promote regeneration, especially of coral reefs, but stressed the need to hold the sector accountable. That's the ambition, but we're not there yet and we need your help,” she said. “We need everyone’s help,” she added.