NUS researcher wants to find ways to channel more finance into conserving nature

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This year’s COP28 climate change conference will feature a critical “health check” on the planet. It will be attended by more young people than ever, as efforts to stem global warming will impact them the most. This group includes at least 35 from Singapore. In part three of this weekly series, Cheryl Tan finds out how conservation science researcher Shakura Bashir hopes to make a difference to the planet.

SINGAPORE – Having spent a decade in the environment sector, Ms Shakura Bashir has seen a whole spectrum of sustainability efforts take shape here, from the Republic’s efforts to bolster food security, to its continued investing in clean water technologies. 

But one particular area has since captured the attention of the PhD student – wielding the power of Mother Nature to tackle the twin challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss.

Protecting nature and sustainably managing natural ecosystems, such as forests and mangroves, can be an antidote to the climate crisis, as nature-based solutions help to whittle away carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, cleaving the carbon, and storing the element in their soil and root systems.  

At the same time, mangroves can protect surrounding communities from harsh climate impacts like sea-level rise, while forest shade can be a cooling reprieve as the planet warms. These ecosystems also serve as a viable habitat for biodiversity, and provide people with increased food and water security.

“Yet, m...

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