Conserving Biodiversity in a Changing Climate

The Charlotte Martin Foundation is committed to supporting and expanding the climate conversation by focusing on the need to enhance our biodiversity in the face of the widespread effects of a warming planet. Climate change and its effects on all species may be one of the most difficult challenges to be faced in the twenty-first century. The impact of climate change is reduced biodiversity in important ecosystems both on land and in the sea. The strategy of conserving and enhancing biodiversity for species and critical ecosystems that are at increased risk can lead to a greater understanding of how to adapt to climate change and mitigate its consequences.

The effects of climate change are only beginning to be understood. Some of the impacts on

  • Increased mortality of species as a result of thermal stress.
  • Altered growth rates and regional range shifts in habitat.
  • Spread of invasive species in plant and animal communities.
  • Ocean acidification and its effects on key organisms in the marine environment.

See report on the Northwest Changes

In the face of climate change, biodiversity conservation can buffer the effects of rising temperatures on regional ecosystems and modify the rates of ecological change. Conservation planning for biodiversity takes the impacts of climate change into account when selecting areas for protection. An engaged community of citizens, scientists, and conservationists can make a significant difference in educating the public, restoring important lands for biodiversity, and protecting the marine and freshwater environments.

Areas of work for our grant making include, but are not limited to:

  • Assessments to identify species and communities at risk, including strategies to work toward ecosystem resilience.
  • Identification of barriers to migration and mitigation measures to enhance landscape connectivity.
  • Adaptive restoration strategies based on predicted species range expansion and contraction.
  • Promoting the biodiversity of the marine and freshwater environments.