Biodiversity and REDD at Copenhagen (Current Biology)

Navjot Sodhi says,

“Here is our recent essay that is written so that biodiversity is not forgotten during UN’s Climate Change meeting in Copenhagen next month. [Link to article] German delegation has already adopted the paper. One of the coauthors, Tom Lovejoy, will be addressing UN’s General Assembly next year and will bring some of the issues to the world leaders.

There is quite a bit coverage in this week’s Nature on biodiversity. Exciting!

Best wishes,


Excerpt from Current Biology, 19(21): “Biodiversity and REDD at Copenhagen” (2009):

“The Copenhagen agreement needs to reach political agreement on swift and deep reductions of greenhouse gases. Nevertheless, it need not neglect biodiversity and other benefits. This can be achieved by four main actions:

  1. First, rules to conserve biodiversity should be included in the text of the Copenhagen Agreement. Biodiversity conservation should not be assumed to be an automatic ‘co-benefit’. We recommend that national implementation standards for REDD include biodiversity-inclusive environmental impact assessments. …
  2. Second, the UNFCCC’s Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) should ask the IPCC to explicitly include assessment of the biodiversity and ecosystem service impacts of mitigation alternatives in all future reports of Working Group III. Moreover, they should convene a joint working group of conservation biologists and ‘carbon ecologists’ to produce a Technical Paper describing a feasible method for optimal co-management of carbon and biodiversity ecosystem services.
  3. Third, the Parties to the UNFCCC should invite the Parties to the CBD to consent to make cooperation on the biodiversity impacts of climate-change mitigation a priority item in their joint work programme.
  4. Fourth, the SBSTA should also ask the IPCC to report any evidence of transnational leakage. If it occurs on the scale that some modelling suggests, it would undercut the carbon as well as the biodiversity benefits of REDD. …
  5. Finally, while we want REDD to “do no harm” to biodiversity and want to maximize the positive biodiversity impacts of REDD policies, we do not expect this single mechanism to fully address all tropical biodiversity funding priorities. The considerable amount of private conservation funding could be redirected and focused on forests of high biodiversity value that would not otherwise be eligible for REDD funding.

Link to article

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