REDD-plus and Biodiversity
This publication provides impulses for seizing the opportunities that lie in REDD-plus for combating climate change and saving biodiversity.
Climate change, land degradation and biodiversity are interconnected, not only through effects of climate change on biodiversity and land management, but also through changes in biodiversity and ecosystem functioning that affect climate change. The observed changes in climate have already adversely affected biodiversity at the species and ecosystem level, with further changes in biodiversity being inevitable with further changes in climate. The degradation of many ecosystems is in turn significantly reducing their carbon storage and sequestration capacity, leading to increases in emissions of greenhouse gases.
Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, conservation of forest carbon stocks, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries (REDD-plus) may be part of the solution. If well designed and implemented, REDD-plus can decrease emissions of greenhouse gases and provide considerable benefits for biodiversity and livelihoods.
REDD-plus efforts could have both positive and negative impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services; while in turn, biodiversity plays an important role for effective and long-term carbon storage in forests, depending on species composition and resting on the importance of key functional relationships. It is therefore crucial that biodiversity is appropriately considered in the development and implementation of REDD-plus. The potential to simultaneously address the biodiversity crisis and climate change is unprecedented, while poorly designed REDD-plus efforts could damage forest biodiversity, and in the process threaten the continued provision of ecosystem services for human well-being.
This document aims to:
(a) Outline the potential benefits of REDD-plus for biodiversity and indigenous and local communities;
(b) Demonstrate the importance of biodiversity and indigenous and local community co-benefits for the long-term success of REDD-plus;
(c) Outline possible risks of REDD-plus for biodiversity and indigenous and local communities, with a view to contributing to the development or improvement of appropriate policy recommendations;
(d) Present various tools for achieving multiple benefits in planning and implementing REDD-plus activities.
*Courtesy of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD)