Reports & Analysis
Conclusions for REDD+ at CBD COP10
At the 10th Conference of the Parties (COP 10) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) last month, delegates agreed on a number of decisions related to the biodiversity aspects of REDD+ and other ecosystem-based approaches to climate change mitigation.
Sustainable forms of ecosystem management, such as the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of forests, can contribute simultaneously to the goals of a range of multilateral environmental agreements and processes, including the CBD and other biodiversity-related conventions such as the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands; the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD); the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF). This fact and conclusions drawn from it played a prominent role in deliberations at the CBD’s COP 10, resulting in a range of provisions relating to synergies and collaboration across conventions and processes.
Several of these provisions make direct reference to REDD+, while others more generally address ecosystem-based approaches to climate change mitigation and adaptation. The most relevant sections of text in this regard are contained in the COP decisions on the CBD’s Strategic Plan for 2011-2020, on biodiversity and climate change, and on protected areas.
Four of the targets of the CBD’s incoming Strategic Plan have the potential to provide immediate synergies with REDD+ and the goals of the UNFCCC in general. These are Target 5 on reducing loss, degradation and fragmentation of natural habitats (including forests), Target 7 on sustainable management of areas under agriculture, aquaculture and forestry, Target 14 on restoring and safeguarding ecosystems that provide essential services, and Target 15 on enhancing ecosystem resilience and the contribution of biodiversity to carbon stocks.
The decision on biodiversity and climate change invites Parties among other things to enhance biodiversity benefits and avoid negative impacts on biodiversity from REDD+, to contribute to the goals of the UNFCCC, UNCCD, Ramsar Convention and the CBD through appropriate management activities in ecosystems such as forests, grasslands, peatlands, mangroves and agricultural systems, to prioritize use of native communities of species and land of low biodiversity value in afforestation, reforestation and forest restoration activities, and to avoid the conversion or degradation of areas important for biodiversity in climate change mitigation and adaptation activities.
Other provisions ask the CBD Secretariat for further work with relevant organizations on analyses identifying areas of high potential for the conservation and restoration of carbon stocks, as well as of ecosystem management measures that make best use of related climate change mitigation opportunities, and make the results available for use in integrated land use planning.
In collaboration with a range of partners including the UN-REDD Programme Secretariat, the UNFCCC Secretariat, other members of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests and Parties, the CBD Secretariat is tasked with providing advice on the application of safeguards for biodiversity in REDD+ activities, and identifying possible indicators and monitoring mechanisms for biodiversity benefits and impacts from REDD+ and other ecosystem-based mitigation measures, without pre-empting future UNFCCC decisions.
A proposal for further work on joint activities between the Rio Conventions, including possible joint preparations for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012 will be presented to the secretariats of the UNFCCC and the UNCCD.
Through these and other decisions, Parties to the CBD have clearly expressed the wish to promote a coherent approach to the management of ecosystems across multilateral environmental agreements, and to contribute advice and expertise on matters related to biodiversity and climate change that are within its mandate.
Click here for the original full text of all decisions adopted by CBD COP 10.