REDD+ & Biodiversity

Volume 19 – May 2012

SBSTTA 16 recommendations to COP 11 on REDD+ and Biodiversity
The Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA), at its sixteenth session held in Montreal, 30 April to 5 May, adopted a recommendation regarding REDD+ biodiversity safeguards, and possible indicators to measure impacts of REDD+ on biodiversity and indigenous and local communities. More:

High-Biodiversity REDD+: Operationalising safeguards and delivering environmental co-benefits
SNV-the Netherlands Development Organisation’s work on REDD+ co-benefits strives to support governments and civil society actors to move beyond minimum safeguard compliance to achieving higher standards of social and environmental performance. SNV has identified a range of options for implementing the UNFCCC Cancun safeguards and contributing to meeting the relevant Aichi Targets (5, 7, 11, 14, and 15) under the CBD. See the full technical paper and summary guidelines, and the policy brief (with IIED).

REDD+ and biodiversity initiative in India
The Western Ghats is a global biodiversity hotspot where 74 percent of existing forests remain outside protected areas. The lack of economic opportunities for most landowners is a major driver behind deforestation and biodiversity loss in this region. An incentive-based mechanism for private land conservation implemented successfully by conservation NGO- Applied Environmental Research Foundation (AERF) in the north Western Ghats leads the way for REDD+ Biodiversity initiatives in India. For more information:

Launch of the Geo-Wiki Project
The Geo-Wiki Project is a global network of volunteers who wish to help improve the quality of global land cover maps. Volunteers are asked to review hotspot maps of global land cover disagreement and determine, based on what they actually see in Google Earth and their local knowledge, if the land cover maps are correct or incorrect. Their input is recorded in a database, along with uploaded photos, to be used in the future for the creation of a new and improved global land cover map. For more information:

FRA User Survey
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and its national, regional and international partners are now working on the development of the 2015 Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA). In order to produce the best quality results, a survey is being undertaken to better understand the needs of users, as well as potential users of the data. The survey results will be used to help enhance the content, format and dissemination of the FRA.The survey can be accessed through the following links in English, French, and Spanish.

Blogging series from the frontlines of Amazon deforestation
Brazil-based forest carbon specialist for The Nature Conservancy, Rane Cortez, is blogging a series of posts for National Geographic News Watch about her work meeting with farmers, local officials, and indigenous peoples in the sprawling ranching community of São Felix do Xingu on the Amazon frontier. More on Planet Change.

Assessing REDD+ performance of countries with low monitoring capacities: the matrix approach
An article by Bucki M. et al., in the journal Environmental Research Letters, presents an approach consisting of a binary stratification of forests biomes, a transition matrix and the use of default carbon stock change factors that can then be used to provide initial estimates of trends in emission changes. A proof-of-concept is provided for one biome of the Democratic Republic of the Congo over a virtual commitment period (2005–2010). The authors propose that this approach could allow assessment of the performance of the five REDD+ activities (deforestation, degradation, conservation, management and enhancement of forest carbon stocks) in a spatially explicit, verifiable manner. The full article is accessible at:

Biodiversity and Climate Change Adaptation in Australia
A paper by Trevor Booth in the new journal ‘Advances in Climate Change Research’ describes strategy and research developments in Australia in relation to biodiversity and climate change. The paper is downloadable from:

Designing REDD+ Schemes to Address Permanence Concerns: Empirical Evidence from Kenya
This study, by Veronesi, M. et al., tests and compares the impact of different REDD+ payment schemes in the field, and provide some insights on the effectiveness of different policies with respect to the permanence of forest-based emission reductions. This study implements a stated preference experiment of time allocation in the unique setting of the Kasigau Corridor REDD+ Project in Kenya. The working paper is available at:

Training Tools
A number of training tools for REDD+ have been developed. Below are some useful links:

Introductory Course on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation and Conserving and Enhancing Forest Carbon Stocks (REDD+):

RECOFTC Training Course Catalog:

How can you publish in this Newsletter?
Your contributions to this Newsletter on issues related to biodiversity aspects of REDD-plus are welcome. Please send your submission to Articles should contain no more than 60 words, and must contain a hyperlink for more information.  Deadline to submit articles for the next issue: 10 July 2012.
The aim of this e-Newsletter is to inform CBD National Focal Points and CBD partners about biodiversity aspects in relation to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries (REDD+). To subscribe, please visit

This newsletter is published pursuant to CBD decision IX/5. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of the Secretariat of the CBD.

Photo credits (from top to bottom): Flickr creative commons: wildxplorer, deacon, Fee as I Can Be, Sushant Jadhav