Exploring the landscape of conservation: An exclusive interview with Fauna & Flora’s Zoe Quiroz-Cullen on Natural Climate Solutions

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30 April, 2024




At the Natural Climate Solutions in Action Conference in August 2023, Natural Climate Solutions Alliance (NCSA) Director Giulia Carbone sat down with Zoe Quiroz-Cullen, Director of Climate and Nature Linkages at Fauna & Flora, to delve into the charity’s mission and the crucial role that Natural Climate Solutions play in shaping the world we live in. 

In the exclusive interview below, Zoe Quiroz-Cullen shares insights into Fauna & Flora’s role in natural climate solutions and what fuels her dedication to this cause.

Q: What does Fauna and Flora do in the space of Natural Climate Solutions?

Zoe Quiroz-Cullen: Fauna & Flora, an international wildlife conservation charity, collaborates globally to save nature. Our focus spans protecting habitats, saving species, and supporting sustainable livelihoods, working collaboratively across sectors to achieve this. Why? Because safeguarding biodiversity and ecosystems is critical to the survival of people and the planet. But it is also making sure that we’re doing that in a way that is really honouring the integrity of the process, ensuring that we’re recognizing and rewarding the work of Indigenous Peoples and local communities, who are on the front line of protecting and restoring the nature upon which we all depend. I’m inspired daily by the mission to leave behind a planet that can sustainably support our children and grandchildren. 

Q: How do you support your projects and partners to adapt to climate change? 

Zoe Quiroz-Cullen: Embedding resilience in our work through ecosystems and through locally-led approaches is a really high institutional priority. At the same time our work and the work of our partners in protecting and restoring ecosystems is already having an immense contribution to the mitigation of climate change. For example, in the 94 terrestrial and marine project sites where we work with local partners and driving conservation impact on the ground, we’re protecting ecosystems that store close to 1 billion tons of carbon. We also believe that access to climate finance has an important role to play in securing the long-term future of conservation efforts in many of these areas.  

Q: What is your relationship with the Natural Climate Solutions Alliance, and what do you think its strengths are? 

Zoe Quiroz-Cullen: We were introduced back to the Natural Climate Solutions Alliance back in 2019 and we quickly recognized the relevance and the importance of its vision, not only to build greater demand and scale of demand for Natural Climate Solutions (NCS) within the private sector, but also an opportunity to really build an understanding of what high quality looks like in the NCS world: both in terms of the use of NCS voluntary carbon credits, and the quality of the NCS credits themselves – in particular, for emphasizing the critical role of biodiversity and social benefits as underpinning components of all successful NCS. 

The NCS Alliance aligns with Fauna & Flora’s vision and it has a fantastic range of both technical and policy experts involved, with a real depth of experience in this field. The collaborative approach of the NCS Alliance is vital, and it helps to ensure the private sector is supported in its journey towards sustainability. It plays a key role in deepening understanding of high-quality and responsible use of NCS, and ensuring a robust and credible voice for nature-based solutions. 

So it continues for us to be a real priority to support the work of the Alliance, and it’s also been a great pleasure to see the depth and the diversity of its offering to its members really expand over the last couple of years. 

Q: Does Fauna & Flora support the use of carbon credits by businesses? 

Zoe Quiroz-Cullen: Absolutely. The finance gap for the protection and sustainable management of nature is vast. And yet we’ve got to accelerate the process of protecting and restoring natural ecosystems. It’s fundamental to our objectives on reversing biodiversity loss, but also getting anywhere close to our climate goals to keep the Paris goals within reach and avoid the worst effects of climate change.  

So yes, we really believe that high-integrity, nature-based markets, including nature-based carbon credits in the voluntary carbon market, have a key role to play in helping to close the finance gap. It’s not the only route, we need finance from many and varied complementary sources, but we think that the voluntary carbon market has a really important role to play. Business has a critical role to play in showing leadership through ambitious targets and action on decarbonization, but going beyond this to deal with unabated emissions. Investment in high-quality nature actions has a really important role to play in that.  

In concluding our conversation with Zoe, it’s clear that her dedication to conservation extends far beyond the preservation of nature—it represents a promise to future generations. The steps that organizations like Fauna & Flora take lay the groundwork for a world where humanity and nature thrive together in balance.  

If you’re inspired by the vital role of Natural Climate Solutions in shaping our collective future, we encourage you to learn more about the NCS Alliance and how you

About the Natural Climate Solutions Alliance can contribute to their mission. 

Convened by the World Economic Forum and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), the Natural Climate Solutions Alliance conveys the voice of business, NGOs and solution providers on the need to mobilize a high-integrity demand for high-quality natural climate solutions. The NCS Alliance focuses on identifying opportunities and barriers to investment in the NCS voluntary carbon market and also serves as a forum for knowledge sharing and technical capacity building to ensure natural climate solutions reach their full potential in abating climate change. Businesses can learn more by reaching out to ncsalliance@wbcsd.org.  

About Fauna & Flora 

Fauna & Flora is a nature conservation charity protecting the diversity of life on Earth. For the survival of species and habitats, the planet and people.  

As the world’s first international conservation charity, Fauna & Flora has been shaping best practice in community-focused conservation for over 120 years. Today, the charity works closely with local conservation partners in almost 50 countries to protect habitats, revive the ocean, reduce extinctions, stop illegal wildlife trade, combat climate change and influence global policy and corporate sustainability. www.fauna-flora.org