Climate, biodiversity and forests

Climate, biodiversity and forests

The problems and solutions of climate change are fundamentally linked to biodiversity conservation

Highlighting the contention that climate change itself is a major threat to biodiversity this report argues that protecting biological diversity may, in fact, help mitigate other impacts of climate change. In this light the authors examine the role of forests and land-use change and questions why that role remains controversial under the Kyoto Protocol.

The reports recommendations focus on the need for strong international commitments and concerted action, and encourage the following actions:

  • Identify and exploit synergies between efforts to halt climate change and promote environmental stewardship. Coordinate projects and policies among the international conventions on climate change, biodiversity, and desertification with international forest agreements. Prioritize the conservation of ecosystems under threat that offer high climate and biodiversitybenefits, such as preserving old-growth forests. Prioritize policy reforms that result in climate and biodiversity benefits, such as abolishing subsidies for conversion of forests to low-productivity agriculture.
  • Ensure that accounting methods, mitigation frameworks, definitions, and implementation of the Kyoto Protocol help meet climate, development, and environmental objectives. Ratify and implement the Kyoto Protocol. Fully count and avoid deforestation where possible. Build the Clean Development Mechanism from the ground up, with involvement from a full range of nations and interest groups.
  • Research issues concerning measurement, patterns of land use change and their underlying drivers. Increase communication among forest and development experts and stakeholders and climate policy-makers. Ensure these experts and stakeholders contribute to the IPCC Special Report on Forests, Land-Use Change and Carbon. Establish a monitoring and inventory system that identifies changes in land cover and use. [adapted from authors]
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