Two Birds, One Stone: Forest Protection Safeguards Climate and Biodiversity

Climate change and biodiversity loss are two of the most urgent global problems facing the international community — and both share a major cause: the deforestation and degradation of the world’s tropical forests.

In a recent op-ed in the Jakarta Post — co-authored by CI’s Dr. Celia Harvey, Dr. Jonah Busch and Muhammad Farid — the scientists examine the potential of REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation “plus” conservation, the sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks) to tackle both problems simultaneously. By providing monetary incentives for developing countries to halt or prevent the destruction of their forests, REDD+ can help communities reduce greenhouse gas emissions and preserve crucial species habitats while sustaining economic growth.

The authors stress the importance of local participation in REDD+ implementation. “If local communities and stakeholders are well-informed and supportive of efforts to reduce deforestation and degradation and actively involved in decision-making and implementation of REDD+, it is more likely that forests will be conserved over the long term…”

In less than two weeks, international representatives will convene in Cancun, Mexico, to continue negotiations and seek solutions to the climate crisis. Among other goals, CI is pushing for detailed decisions on aspects of REDD+ that will secure funding and pave the way for immediate implementation. The article continues, “…if REDD+ is well-designed and appropriately implemented, it would be a giant and historic step forward toward solving both the climate and biodiversity crises.”

Read the full article, or learn more about CI’s engagement at the U.N. climate meeting in Cancun.


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