International: Biodiversity And Livelihoods - REDD-plus Benefits
The importance of biodiversity and livelihood aspects within the design of REDD-plus has been recognized at many levels. Achieving these multiple benefits will require new levels of collaboration among different actors at national and international levels.
This brochure demonstrates how measures and policies can be shaped to simultaneously address climate change, biodiversity loss and poverty. It identifies opportunities for synergies and mutual enhancement of the objectives of international agreements, particularly the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), as well as decisions taken by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly following the recommendations of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF).
Since climate change is ongoing and has direct impacts on the existence and vitality of species and ecosystems, resilient forests are needed to ensure the permanence of REDD-plus measures. Resilience depends on the availability of a large pool of options for reacting and adapting to environmental changes such as climate change. This pool of future options depends on biodiversity.
Forest ecosystems that have the ability to adapt to climate change can provide for the livelihoods of forestdependent people and communities who are partners in safeguarding forests and supporting the mitigation of climate change. To sustain this partnership, not only should these people actively participate in the decisionmaking, but financial compensation should also be provided for their efforts.
This brochure also provides background information on the linkages between ecosystem-based adaptation and mitigation measures. It aims to introduce experts, especially from the field of climate change, to the basic concepts of biodiversity, forest resilience and ecosystem-based adaptation, which are important to the connection between mitigation and adaptation. It also shows how the conservation and sustainable use of forest biodiversity can remedy forest degradation.
Beyond this basic introduction, the brochure describes concrete measures to achieve long-term success and the multiple benefits of mitigation and adaptation measures. These include: participatory approaches and pro-poor policies; the adaptation of forests to climate change; maintaining species migration routes; and avoiding selfenforcing negative impacts of climate change.
The integration of biodiversity and livelihood aspects into REDD-plus will only succeed if the implementation of these aspects is supported by financial rewards or other incentives. The brochure shows that no matter which type of mechanism is developed under the UNFCCC, the integration of biodiversity and livelihoods into the design of a REDD-plus mechanism has vast potential to result in more stable projects, improve the permanence of carbon stocks, and achieve higher returns on investment, thus fulfilling the interests of all stakeholders.
A number of international agreements provide relevant guidance on how deforestation and forest degradation can be reduced in the long term and how sustainable forest management (SFM) can be enhanced.
In particular, the CBD programs of work on forest biodiversity, protected areas, and incentive measures, as well as the non-legally binding instrument on all types of forests will support the goals of REDD-plus if they are fully implemented. They provide a blueprint for how deforestation and forest degradation can be tackled. Any REDD-plus mechanism should capitalize on lessons learned from efforts to promote SFM and to implement the provisions of the UNFF and the CBD. Policies and measures which contribute to the implementation of several international commitments simultaneously, such as forest restoration or SFM, have a better chance of long-term success, although coordination and planning costs might initially be higher.
Download the entire report here (.pdf).