Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Biodiversity Hotspots Are Also Major Carbon Sinks

Date:
December 6, 2008
Source:
UN Environment Programme
Summary:
New research shows how reducing emissions from deforestation can not only assist in combating climate change but can also help the conservation of biodiversity, from amphibians and birds to primates. Close to 20 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions are a result of deforestation.

Maps pinpointing overlaps of high carbon and high biodiversity areas were just launched by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) with its Carbon and Biodiversity demonstration atlas.

The research shows how reducing emissions from deforestation can not only assist in combating climate change but can also help the conservation of biodiversity, from amphibians and birds to primates.

The atlas, believed to be the first of its kind, comes as nations meet in Poznan, Poland for the latest round of UN climate convention talks.

Close to 20 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions are a result of deforestation. Negotiators are looking to advance plans to fund Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) in a post-2012 climate deal.

The Carbon and Biodiversity Demonstration Atlas was produced by UNEP's World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) with support from the German government and initial seed funding from Humane Society International.

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director, said: "At a time of scarce financial resources and economic concerns, every dollar, euro or rupee needs to deliver double, even triple dividends. Intelligent investment in forests is a key example where climate benefits and ecosystem benefits can be achieved in 'one transaction'."

He said paramount to a successful REDD mechanism is ensuring safeguards for local and indigenous people so that they can benefit from any future REDD arrangements.

"However, by pinpointing where high densities of carbon overlap with high levels of biodiversity, the atlas spotlights where governments and investors can deal with two crises for the price of one. This does not include the other benefits from investing in forests ecosystem 'infrastructure', from stabilizing soils to conserving and boosting local and regional water supplies," he added.

The Great Ape Survival Partnership (GRASP, an initiative coordinated by UNEP and the UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is set to launch pilot activities to test the potential of achieving these "multiple benefits" from REDD in Central Africa and Southeast Asia.

The experts are looking at how investments in conserving carbon in the forests on the Nigerian-Cameroon border may also assist in conserving the habitat of the highly endangered Cross River gorilla, of which only 250-300 individuals remain. And in Indonesia, national and local authorities, communities and the oil palm sector will be engaged to reduce emissions from the carbon-rich peat-swamp forest, home of many populations of orangutan.

News of the pilot came early in December during the launch of the Year of the Gorilla 2009 initiative coordinated by UNEP's Convention on Migratory Species. The GRASP initiative will complement and may form part of a wider United Nations REDD Programme, led by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and UNEP. The UN REDD Programme is assisting nine pilot countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia and will also provide support to the development of a global REDD mechanism, working in cooperation with the World Bank Forest Carbon Partnership Facility and others.

The demonstration Atlas includes regional maps as well as national maps for six tropical countries (see below) showing where areas of high carbon storage coincide with areas of biodiversity importance. It also shows where existing protected areas are high in both carbon and biodiversity. The atlas includes a variety of statistics drawn from these maps demonstrating the different types of possible information that can be provided.

PDF of full atlas


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by UN Environment Programme. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

UN Environment Programme. "Biodiversity Hotspots Are Also Major Carbon Sinks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081205153515.htm>.
UN Environment Programme. (2008, December 6). Biodiversity Hotspots Are Also Major Carbon Sinks. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081205153515.htm
UN Environment Programme. "Biodiversity Hotspots Are Also Major Carbon Sinks." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081205153515.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Federal researchers are exploring more than a dozen underwater sites where they believe ships sank in the treacherous waters west of San Francisco in the decades following the Gold Rush. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Isolated N. Korea Asks For International Help With Volcano

Isolated N. Korea Asks For International Help With Volcano

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) Mount Paektu volcano in North Korea is showing signs of life and there's not much known about it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins