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Understanding relationships between biodiversity, carbon, forests and people: the key to achieving REDD+ objectives. A global assessment report

21 / 01 / 2013, Eldis Biodiversity

This report seeks to better understand the relationships between biodiversity, carbon, forests and people, so as to support the achievement of REDD+ objectives. It summarises the latest scientific literature to make sense of the complex web of relationships, how they may be affected by the implementation of REDD+ management activities, and the potential trade-offs and synergies between and among environmental and socioeconomic objectives.The introduction provides a summary of the issue, presenting contextual data to illustrate the importance of, and challenges faced by, forest ecosystems. It also discusses REDD+ and its aims of reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, as well as conserving, managing and increasing forests as carbon stocks. The report is split into four chapters. The first chapter explores the relationships and impacts of deforestation and forest degradation on biodiversity, carbon and other ecosystem services. Covering a range of forest types, it gives a broad overview of biodiversity and carbon relationships in potential REDD+ programme regions. Impacts of forest and land management on biodiversity and carbon are the focus of the second chapter, which explores management and action approaches, identifying areas for improving agricultural practice, measures to reduce the impact of various extractive industries, and indicators for the effective monitoring of carbon and biodiversity.Social and economic considerations relevant to REDD+ are covered by the third chapter, including the social and economic context of governance and its consequences. This chapter concludes that REDD+ activities can greatly benefit poor people (particularly through participatory practices) and generate significant financial flows.The fourth chapter examines existing and future options for governance of REDD+, forest management and biodiversity. It explores options to synergise climate, forest management and biodiversity at both the national and international scale, including information on data collection, planning, policies and finance. The report concludes that governance is likely to remain pluralistic; rather than impose a singular solution, this complexity should be embraced.

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