REDD and Biodiversity
A critical issue for REDD is to ensure that biodiversity considerations are taken fully into account. Please join this group if you are interested either in contributing to, or simply in following closely, discussions related to REDD and biodiversity.
According to a new study published online in Conservation Letters , the rate of extinctions among nearly 2500 key forest species of amphibians, birds and mammals could be dramatically reduced – from 46-80 percent over a period of five years – with adequate financing to support reductions of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). The study, entitled Biodiversity co-benefits of reducing emissions from deforestation under alternative reference levels and levels of finance, was conducted by scientists from Conservation International (CI), and was issued to coincide with this week's climate change negotiations in Cancun.
A new study, based on a collaboration among forest scientists from 13 universities and other institutions, provides a useful overview of the importance of 'indigenous lands' and other protected areas (ILPAs) for achieving REDD. The report, titled "Indigenous Lands, Protected Areas and Slowing Climate Change", was published online yesterday in PLoS Biology.
A new article published in February's Conservation Letters examines the potential impact of REDD on biodiversity conservation. "Opportunities for Achieving Biodiversity Conservation through REDD" emphasises the "rare opportunity" which REDD represents for conservation of tropical forests and biodiversity. Authors Celia Harvey, Barney Dickson and Cyril Kormos highlight the need to include REDD in the new global climate agreement and to ensure that the resulting agreement maximizes the area of tropical forest conserved. The article also examines the potential for including guidelines or incentives within either the REDD framework or in national implementation measures to ensure that funding is targeted to high-biodiversity areas.
A report published during COP-15 investigates and maps the geo-spatial relationships between carbon stocks and species richness worldwide to assess the degree of potential synergy between climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation efforts. The report, titled "Global congruence of carbon storage and biodiversity in terrestrial ecosystems", was published on 17 December by the online journal Conservation Letters. It finds a strong association between carbon stocks and species richness, suggesting that potential synergies could be high, but unevenly distributed. The report finds that many biodiversity-rich areas would benefit from 'carbon-based conservation', while noting that other areas could benefit from what it calls 'complementary funding' related to their carbon content.
In a Science article entitled "Harnessing Carbon Payments to Protect Biodiversity," Oscar Venter and co-authors consider the possible 'collateral benefits', or co-benefits, to biodiversity of alternative scenarios for spending on REDD. They identify non-linear spatial trade-offs when allocating funds for both carbon sequestration and biodiversity. Their conclusion: "...minor adjustments to the allocation of funds could double the biodiversity protected by REDD, while reducing carbon outcomes by only 4 to 8%."