With each passing day climate change have an increasing influence on the lives of The Earth. Today, more frequent and more intense cataclysms put both natural ecosystems and their biodiversity at risk, as well as us humans. Massive forest fires and prolonged periods of drought and water scarcity are followed by severe flooding with casualties and property damage. Unfortunately, this is already happening in our country. The campaign of the nature protection organization WWF Bulgaria has raised the alarm about the threats “Give nature. For our future”whom NEW, Netinfocompany.bg, DarikNews.bg, Ohnamama.bg, Vesti.bg, Vbox7.com are pleased to be media partners.
Anyone can become part of the cause of WWFjoining the campaign “Give the gift of nature. For our beyet“. See how on wwf.bg/koleda.
Super hot summer days are gradually becoming a common occurrence. The summer of 2023 turned out to be the third hottest in Bulgaria for the last 44 years. This inevitably leads to an increase in the number of forest fires with the accompanying risks of loss of human life, homes, infrastructure, lost benefits from suspended activities and, of course, loss of plant and animal habitats. Studies show that the climate in southern Bulgaria is gradually approaching that of Greece, which increases the number of hot and dry days a year. And this extends the fire season and expands the amount of forest land that can be affected.
“Forest fires are a major contributor to climate change. They account for 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Billions of tons of carbon dioxide go into the atmosphere every year. Moreover, a warming climate also leads to the emergence of droughts. says Apostol Dyankov, head of the “Climate and Energy” program at WWF.
Droughts and water shortages
Heat waves are directly linked to periods of drought and low river levels, sochi 2022 WWF analysis According to the data, 17% of Europeans as well as 13% of the continent’s GDP could face a high risk of water scarcity by mid-century. In recent years, rivers in Europe have fallen victim to the heat. In August 2022, the Danube set several consecutive records for the lowest water levels for the corresponding day since 1941. This threatened business, industry, agriculture and even drinking water supplies for local communities.
“The main reasons for the drought and the change in the water regime of the Danube are global climate changes, the deforestation of the river basin and the construction of thousands of hydroelectric power plants along its course and tributaries. The snow in the Alps and the Carpathians is less and less and melts earlier every year. All this threatens to lead to the irreversible destruction of the river’s ecosystem, as well as all the services it provides us. Consequences can include crop failures, shrinking lakes, economic collapse and water shortages for people“, commented Stoyan Mihov, head of the “Water” program at WWF.
Torrential rains and floods
This year we will remember September 8th as a day of national mourning for the victims of the floods in Tsarevo municipality. Two men and two women died in the disaster, which overflowed reservoirs in the area, swept away bridges and triggered landslides. Villages and campsites were evacuated, thousands of people were left without electricity, and roads along the Southern Black Sea coast were closed.
And all these upheavals today can happen within just a few weeks!
What is the solution?
The first and most important condition is the urgent limitation of fossil fuel emissions. WWF is working with governments, businesses and institutions to make Bulgaria a carbon-neutral country by 2038. Experts are convinced that this is the only way forward.
Renewables vs Fossil Fuels – What do Scientists Think?
WWF and Boston Consulting Group published a first-of-its-kind report, assessing the risks and benefits of a rapid transition to renewable energy. The analysis examines eight areas of impact from all spheres of the biosphere. It shows that a power system powered by renewable sources would be from two to sixteen times better for people and nature. It would have a positive impact on a wide range of key resources, such as air and water quality, human health, biodiversity and ecosystems.
According to scientists, in a future powered by renewable energy, the amount of land lost to floods, desertification and forest fires will be significantly less compared to that which relies on fossil fuels. And reducing the frequency and intensity of climate-induced disasters will save thousands of lives and save $2 trillion a year in infrastructure damage.
In its quest to mitigate the consequences of climate change, WWF is looking for an answer and in nature-based solutions. They use natural facts and processes to deal with different cases. Besides being cheaper than engineering-based approaches, they can provide benefits not only to biodiversity but also to humans.
1) Afforestation with riparian forests
The densely intertwined rhizomes of riparian forests strengthen river banks and stop erosion, reducing the risk of flooding downstream. During heavy rains, the forest slows down the time it takes for the rain to reach the river, absorbing a significant amount of water through leaves, bark and rhizomes. And the rhizomes are able to trap most of the biogenic pollutants falling into the groundwater from cultivated lands.
“Riparian forests provide home and food for hundreds of species of animals, contributing to solving the problem of declining biodiversity. Riverside forests create a favorable microclimate. In the summer heat, they can keep both wild animals and us humans cool. That is why the restoration of the forests on the banks of the Danube and Maritza has been a top priority in WWF’s work for years.”, explains Kostadin Valchev, senior expert of the “Forests” program at WWF.
2) Designation of wetlands
Wetlands and floodplains next to the river reduce the risk of flooding. During heavy rains and high water in the river, they can absorb a significant amount of water and slow down the water flow. At the same time, wetlands are among the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet and have a serious impact on its conservation. Aquatic vegetation in wetlands is also one of the best biological filters for organic water pollution.
WWF’s great mission is to help build a future in which people live in harmony with nature and its inhabitants.