REDD+ may cut both ways - Potential trade-offs between climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation require well thought out measures

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At the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) meeting in Hyderabad, India, scientists present keyfindings on the relationship between biodiversity, forest management and potential REDD+ activities. Ongoing conversion of forests to agriculture is still a major cause of global biodiversity loss on Earth. Furthermore, deforestation is the second largest source of carbon dioxide emissions induced by humans, after fossil fuel emissions. The UN initiative on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation in developing countries (REDD+) can bring positive impacts for both biodiversity and carbon, as it seeks actions aiming at reducing deforestation and forest degradation, including conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of carbon stocks. However, there are trade-offs between carbon and biodiversity outcomes that can occur locally and at wider spatial scales. “These trade-offs must be carefully considered in any decision made relative to REDD+implementation“, say scientists. A discussion on emerging key findings will be presented in theframework of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity meeting from 8 to 19 October 2012 in Hyderabad.