New scientific paper: REDD+ can be key to stop the extinction crisis too

Amphibians, like this frog belonging to the genus Afrixalus, are the most threatened group of animal species. © Robin MooreA new scientific paper being previewed at Copenhagen shows how Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) can not only contribute to the fight against climate change, but also provide an excellent opportunity to slow the rate of extinction of species. Revenues developing countries receive under almost any REDD+ scheme would be the biggest investment in tropical forests in history and should lead to enormous gains in conservation of species.

According to one of the authors and Vice President of Global Change and Ecosystem Services at CI, Dr. Celia Harvey, the paper presents a variety of options for how to achieve biodiversity conservation through REDD+, and highlights the many synergies between climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation goals.

This reminded me of the most recent IUCN Red List published last month, showing that the extinction of species continues at a shocking pace. More than 17,000 species, or 36 percent of the total of number of species assessed by IUCN, are threatened with extinction. Amphibians are the most threatened group of animal species, with 30 percent in danger of disappearing in the wild.

Both IUCN’s assessment and the scientific paper being previewed underline the need for governments meeting in Copenhagen to look at the conservation of biodiversity and the ecosystems that sustain it – especially tropical forests – as one of the most effective and quickest means of climate stabilization.

The paper titled “Opportunities for achieving biodiversity conservation through REDD” is available online in the scientific journal Conservation Letters. Read the abstract.

Patricia Yakabe Malentaqui is the Press Officer for Conservation International.

Many CI delegates from all over the world will be attending the COP15 Climate Change conference in Copenhagen. See who’s going and read about CI’s agenda and climate policy positions on our COP15 page.

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