than 40 years of experience, OSI is committed to addressing the effects of climate
change through strategic land conservation. Safeguarding large landscapes has
always been a hedge against climate change. By preventing or redirecting large-scale
development, land conservation reduces greenhouse-gas pollution, and by sustaining
intact forests, it offsets emissions by sequestering carbon. Moreover, purchasing
land secures habitat for plants and animals and ensures an array of ecosystem
services, including clean water, for every living thing.
Recent science has developed ways to identify resilient
landscapes, natural strongholds whose unchanging physical
characteristics will help ensure that human and natural communities endure as
the world warms. Diverse
and unfragmented, these places are best able to recover from disturbance, ensuring biodiversity
for years to come. Some 80% of the lands OSI has protected in New York alone are
climate resilient, including places in the Hudson Highlands, Shawangunks and
Catskill Mountains. These landscapes not only protect wildlife, but also defend
against flood, drought and other risks to human communities.
That is why, in 2013, OSI launched
our $12 million Resilient Landscapes Initiative. Through this effort, we work with
other land trusts to protect resilient sites, and translate and promote the use
of this critical science across the eastern United States.
In 2014, President Obama
commended the Resilient Landscapes Initiative for
investing in natural infrastructure in the face of climate change. OSI’s targeted
funding for climate action is on track to protect 25,000 acres of resilient
habitat in 12 states over the next two years. These tracts will provide a
stronghold for plants and animals to adapt even as the climate changes. Our leadership
in translating science for land-trust planning has resulted
in the integration of climate science into the conservation plans of other
leading land trusts. As
we work to de-mystify the
application of climate science to land protection, we are helping to set an
agenda to pinpoint and protect critical resilient lands.
conservation is a critical piece of the climate-action puzzle, and OSI will continue
to rise to the climate challenge through its ongoing protection of land in New
York State and along the East Coast.
Landscapes Initiative is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation,
Jane’s Trust, the North Atlantic Landscape Cooperative and the New York State
Conservation Partnership Program/Land Trust Alliance.
The Fund provides capital grants and loans to
land protection projects within selected regions of the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic
and Central Appalachians.
The Fund provides capital grants and loans to land
protection projects within selected regions of the Southeastern United States.
OSI's Catalyst Program furthers
the practical application of climate science and water quality science to land
protection through grants for conservation planning and applied