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Side Event

Climate Change and Biodiversity; Conservation and Adaptation

Global Environment Facility Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel and Indian Institute of Science

Date and Time
17 October 2012 13:15 - 14:45

Eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 11)

Climate change is one of the most important global environmental Issues impacting natural ecosystems and socioeconomic systems. For instance, climate change affects forest ecosystems primarily in three ways: firstly, forest ecosystems through land use change contribute about 20% of the global C02 emissions; secondly, climate change is projected to adversely impact forest ecosystems and biodiversity - particularly with regard to forest health and geographic distribution; and thirdly, the forest sector provides significant mitigation opportunities to address climate change. The forestry sector is closely linked to socio-economic systems, particularly to those of forest-dwellers and rural communities in developing countries. Projected climate change will have impacts on forest ecosystems, affecting biodiversity, forest regeneration, growth rates and geographic distribution of plant species or forest types. All of these Impacts will in turn affect the global environment as well as socio-economic systems. Forest dependent communities (Indigenous as well as agricultural) and their livelihoods are likely to be adversely affected due to climate change. To minimize the adverse Impacts of climate change, particularly on biodiversity and environmental services, there is a need for scientific assessments of the Impacts of climate change on biodiversity of different ecosystems in order to guide the development and implementation of adaptation strategies. Further, climate adaptation activities will have positive environmental impacts such as biodiversity conservation and watershed protection. Policy initiatives incorporating climatic concerns into planning and implementation of forest conservation, afforestation and reforestation are needed, particularly in developing countries. Similarly, loss of biodiversity Is an important global environmental problem with both global and local implications. Global and national policy initiatives are needed to conserve biodiversity. Finally biodiversity rich forests are less vulnerable to climate change. The side event will focus on the following: > Presentation of the impacts of climate change on biodiversity of forests and other natural ecosystems, and opportunities for adaptation > Discuss the state of science and modeling of assessing the impacts of climate change on biodiversity of different ecosystems > Assessment of the implications of climate change Impacts on biodiversity for the biodiversity-dependent communities and livelihoods > Consideration of the Greening India Mission for conservation of biodiversity, reducing the vulnerability of forest ecosystems and forest-dependent communities > Role of multilateral agencies such as GEF In promoting biodiversity conservation and adaptation. Panelists 1. Dr. Thomas Lovejoy, STAP Chair, GEF 2. Prof N H Ravindranath, Indian Institute of Science 3. Dr V K Bahuguna, Director General, Indian Council of Forestry Research 4. Dr. Sandra Diaz, STAP Member, Biodiversity Focal Area, GEF 5. Prof. Yadvinder Malhi, Oxford University 6. Dr. Daniel Bebber- Earthwatch-UK, Oxford 7. Ms. Bon I Biagini, Adaptation, GEF.