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UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre has just released a set of brief country profiles for 12 African countries on the potential multiple benefits of REDD+, focusing on the spatial relationship between carbon, biodiversity and protected areas. These are simple analyses developed on the basis of already-available regional and global data. The profiles, together with more detailed, collaborative analyses for several other countries may be accessed at http://www.carbon-biodiversity.net/OtherScales
The profiles address the following questions:
- How much carbon is stored in within the vegetation and soils of the countries?
- How does carbon storage relate to areas of importance for biodiversity (here Key Biodiversity Areas)
- How much of the land that is both high in carbon and of importance for biodiversity is protected?
The production of the profiles has been funded by Germany’s BfN.
The UN-REDD Programme is set to host and participate in a number of events during COP16 and Forest Day 4 in Cancun, Mexico, and will launch its new publication “Perspectives on REDD+”, all with the aim of strengthening support and advancing REDD+ readiness and implementation efforts. Read more…
The UN-REDD Programme’s November newsletter is now out! This month, we highlight UN-REDD Programme activities at COP16 and Forest Day 4, including the launch of the Programme’s new publication “Perspectives on REDD+” which will be released 2 December in Cancun and online. We also hear reactions from UN-REDD Programme countries that were collectively approved for US$15.2 million funding at the UN-REDD Programme’s recent Policy Board meeting. REDD+ representatives in Nigeria reflect on the UN-REDD Programme’s recent mission to the country. PLUS… get updates on UN-REDD Programme activities at CBD COP10, in Asia-Pacific, Tanzania, and on governance, and a brief on CBD Decisions relevant to REDD+ and biodiversity.
Let us know what you think… post a comment here or write us at email@example.com.
The inaugural Rio Conventions’ Ecosystems and Climate Change Pavilion, a collaborative outreach activity involving the Rio Convention secretariats, with the Global Environment Facility and 15 other important partners, was held from 18-28 October 2010 on the margins of the CBD COP 10 in Nagoya, Japan.
In Nagoya, the Pavilion demonstrated through thematic presentations, workshops and the worldwide web, the challenges and opportunities facing biodiversity and land managers resulting from the unavoidable and projected adverse impacts of climate change. Parties and organisations profiled activities linking biodiversity conservation and sustainable use, sustainable land management and efforts to combat desertification, and climate change mitigation and adaptation, demonstrating the many co-benefits that can be achieved in implementing the Rio Conventions.
Activities in Nagoya were organised around daily themes including;
- protected areas and climate change
- indigenous people and communities
- the linked benefits of forests
- water, ecosystems and climate change
- dryland biodiversity (Land Day 3 – The Nexus Between Biodiversity and Desertification)
- the economics of biodiversity and ecosystems services
- ecosystem-based approaches for adaptation and
- enhancing synergies for sustainable development and poverty alleviation.
Further information, including links to presentations, videos and photos from the Ecosystems Pavilion at Nagoya can be found at http://ecosystemspavilion.org. There is also a Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ecosystemspavilion
In addition, information about the range of activities planned for the ‘virtual’ Rio Conventions’ Ecosystems and Climate Change Pavilion to be held in Cancun during the UNFCCC COP 16/CMP 6 can be found at http://ecosystemspavilion.org/en/cancun. In Cancun, in addition to a number of side events, key messages from the Ecosystems Pavilion at Nagoya will be disseminated, including through the Rio Conventions’ Ecosystems and Climate Change Pavilion exhibit.
- Anne-Marie Wilson, Convention on Biological Diversity
Below are highlights from the UN-REDD Programme’s fourth and fifth “REDD+ Hours”, which wrapped up this past Saturday in Nagoya at the tenth Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
A focus on monitoring of multiple benefits from forests in the fourth REDD+ Hour was brought to life by Prof. Kanehiro Kitayama (Kyoto University) as he peeled back layer after layer of long year research from Deramakot in Sabah (Malaysia). He established a clear, positive correlation between biological diversity and forest carbon while explaining the more useful and accurate analytical tools he had developed. Barney Dickson (UNEP-WCMC) explored the policy context, demands and objectives of monitoring for multiple benefits, framing monitoring within the context of its utility for REDD+. Atiek Widayanti (ICRAF) then illustrated the use of scenario analysis as a means for exploring the implications for multiple benefits from forests and REDD+ of monitoring information for land-use planning, with a focus on two Orangutan conservation areas in North Sumatra and Aceh (Indonesia). Oudara Souvannavong (FAO) facilitated the lively discussion that followed.
The fifth REDD+ Hour on 23 October, and the final one at CBD COP 10, focused on how CBD stakeholders can engage in national REDD+ processes. The presentations discussed the role of CBD national focal points, tools that can be utilized for incorporation of biodiversity in REDD+ processes and the Forest Stewardship Council’s (FSC) experience with stakeholder engagement in developing national standards and defining what are well-managed forests. Tim Christophersen (CBD) stressed the importance of connecting key national focal points, e.g. those for REDD+ and biodiversity, to each other so that they could share information and tools. He noted that CBD focal points have information that could be valuable to REDD+ process such as results from biodiversity gap analyses and monitoring. He argued for bringing CBD stakeholders in to the REDD+ process as this would be good for both. Lin Xin (Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences) presented a case study of carbon and multiple benefits distribution from Jiangxi Province, illustrating thereby a spatial planning tool that can be used within land-planning and REDD+ processes. Richard Robertson (FSC) stressed the importance of consultation and process in the development of national standards (i.e. indicators and verifiers) based on an interpretation of a global set of principles and criteria. He explained that such standards have now been established in 21 countries with over 30 more under development. The key lesson was to clarify roles and responsibilities in an early stage and to piggy-back on existing processes. The session looked forward to a continuation of the REDD+ Hours at UNFCCC COP 16 in Cancun later this year.
Below are highlights from the UN-REDD Programme’s second and third “REDD+ Hour” workshops which took place on 20 and 21 Oct in Nagoya at the tenth Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
REDD+ Hour #2
The second REDD+ Hour on 20 October dealt with the role of traditional knowledge and REDD+. The session clearly identified the importance of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) in assuring that the rights, interests and knowledge of indigenous and local people are assured. The session highlighted the potential of cash incentives for forest carbon benefits to divide communities against each other and have undesirable effects on livelihoods and cultures, unless communities were given sufficient time to inform themselves and consult with each other.
Speaking first, Estebancio Castro (International Alliance of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples of Tropical Forests), stressed that such processes should be adequately resources and be allowed to take their time, even if this were 12 or 18 months. Presenting the perspective of a small NGO working in the realm of conservation and indigenous peoples rights in the Eastern DRC, Domonique Bikaba (Strong Roots) warned of the dangers of top-down policy making effectively dictating outcomes. Finally, Emmanuel Freudenthal (Forest Peoples Programme) presented analysis of a REDD+ process in Cameroonand identified shortfalls in the process with respect to the rights and participation of indigenous and local people. The discussion that followed supported the use of FPIC, but also that experiences related to its implementation needed to be shared more widely so as to generate insights into its operational implementation.
REDD+ Hour #3
Safeguards on biodiversity and environmental safeguards are currently under discussion at CBD COP 10 and will be in UNFCCC COP 16, so on 21 October a full room participated in an interesting, third REDD+ Hour that explored this topic in the context of REDD+. While there was clear consensus on the need for such safeguards, there was an equally firm consensus that safeguards must not constrain or overburden agreement in REDD+, as REDD+ was in itself potentially one of the most important safeguards for forests and their ecosystem services. The point was made however that while conservation of biodiversity was a safeguard for forests and consequently for forest carbon, the reverse was not necessarily true.
Mike Barrett (DEFRA, UK) presented an overview of the current state of negotiations on safeguards for REDD+ in the COPs of both CBD and UNFCCC. He emphasized their importance, the good language that is being proposed but suggested that the challenges actually lay in implementation. He asked whether targets under discussion in the CBD strategic plan, specifically Targets 5 & 7 could be used to inform implementation and the discussions under UNFCCC. Robert Nasi (CIFOR & CIRAD) presented an analysis of ten different voluntary standards currently being used or under development for forests and concluded that none of them were adequate to act comprehensively as environmental safeguards for REDD+. It would take combinations of two or more standards to provide comprehensive coverage. He suggested that a voluntary approach may be the way to move forward.
Ma Hwan Ok (ITTO) presented a landscape level project on REDD+ from Indonesiaand stressed the important role of local people and the private sector in delivering on safeguards either through changes of behaviour or in the kinds of investments that were made. The discussions that followed focused on monitoring of safeguards and their implementation and recognized the catalytic and synergistic opportunities that REDD+ presented for the conventions to deliver multiple benefits from REDD+ and forests, while working within their own mandates.
On Wednesday, 20 October, at the CBD COP 10 currently taking place in Nagoya, Japan, the German government and UNEP-WCMC ran a side-event on “Carbon, biodiversity and ecosystem services: exploring co-benefits”, attended by around 50 people. A selection of results from four new reports on the spatial relationships between carbon, biodiversity and ecosystem services in Cambodia, Ecuador, Nigeria and Jiangxi Province, China, were presented (follow links to access full-colour reports). An outlook on further work on mapping the potential for restoring carbon stocks in ecosystems was provided. The discussion touched on issues ranging from the effectiveness of protected areas in securing carbon stocks, to the impact of oil, gas and mining activities on carbon in ecosystems, and the use of spatial analyses as decision-support tools.
For more information and resources on this topic, please visit www.carbon-biodiversity.net.
- Monika Bertzky, UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre
The UN-REDD Programme hosted the first of five ‘REDD+ Hours’ yesterday in Nagoya at the tenth Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
The Programme’s first “REDD+ Hour” featured the inter-linkages of biodiversity, carbon and economics, in an initiative that sought to bridge the biodiversity and climate change communities. The conclusions of this well-attended and stimulating session were that forests delivered many more economic benefits than carbon. Speakers and participants concluded that these multiple benefits would both add to and overshadow those from carbon eventually. They agreed that REDD+ would be a catalyst to achieving these benefits and recognized the importance of capacity building in this regard, particularly a coordinated approach among the multilateral initiatives: the UN-REDD Programme, those hosted by the World Bank and the REDD+ Partnership.
Ian Thompson,of the Canadian Forest Service, stressed that biodiversity conferred resilience within a forest ecosystem at many scales and thus the stability of the forest carbon stock. Pavan Sukhdev (TEEB/UNEP) outlined challenges and opportunities of integrating carbon with other ecosystem services within REDD+ and suggested concrete steps for structuring the REDD+ mechanism. Finally Carlos Rodriguez (Conservation International) outlined Costa Rica’s success with payments from ecosystem services from forests, reversing in the process drivers of deforestation and doubling forest areas, while per capita GDP more than doubled during a 20-year period up to 2005.
Moderating the discussions, Ravi Prabhu (UN-REDD Programme) highlighted the emphasis that the UN-REDD Programme places on multiple benefits and pointed to a report released at COP 10 that outlined current efforts to realize these. The discussions that followed supported the conclusions of all speakers, but recognized that more needed to be done to connect thinking among the relevant communities at CBD and UNFCCC.
A global expert workshop on biodiversity benefits of reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD), co-organized by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the UN-REDD Programme, was held in Nairobi from 20-23 September 2010. The workshop report is now available at:
The aim of the workshop was to support developing countries in their efforts to plan and implement REDD+ pilot activities in a way that supports implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The workshop report identifies risks and opportunities for biodiversity from REDD+, and priorities for action.