Biodiversity workshop on REDD+ and the CBD Aichi Targets

Biodiversity workshop on REDD+ and the CBD Aichi Targets
For several years, experts have been pointing out the important potential synergies between REDD+ and the global biodiversity goals known as the Aichi Targets.

A recent FCMC publication, “REDD+ and Biodiversity Conservation: Approaches, Experiences and Opportunities for Improved Outcomes” showed that these synergies are going unrealized. This is an important omission since REDD+ is a mechanism designed to protect and restore biodiversity rich tropical forests, and the Aichi targets have goals that are specifically related to forest conservation.

Recognizing this challenge and opportunity, the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP)-World Conservation Monitoring Center (WCMC) organized a capacity building workshop on the links between REDD+ and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets in San Jose, Costa Rica from August 29-31, 2014. This workshop brought together REDD+ and CBD focal points from 10 countries to review the synergies and identify opportunities for collaboration.

The study and supporting documents in English, French and Spanish were distributed to workshop participants.

Steven Panfil of Conservation International, the lead author for the FCMC REDD+ and biodiversity report presented key results from the study on the workshop’s first day. The study reviewed existing REDD+ initiatives at the national and project scale to understand how biodiversity is actually being addressed in REDD+ practice. The report shows that few countries are taking specific steps to use REDD+ to achieve national biodiversity goals. The monitoring systems that must be put in place to demonstrate compliance with the REDD+ safeguards could also serve to monitor progress towards the Aichi targets, yet this synergy is also going unrealized. Workshop participants agreed that there is a lack of coordination between the REDD+ and CBD offices in their own countries, and during the remainder of the workshop, the participants discussed ways to link their REDD+ and CBD efforts. The participants also did a practical exercise designed to show the value of spatial planning that can be used to prioritize REDD+ investments in areas of high biodiversity value. The workshop participants made plans to share information about the synergies between REDD+ and CBD within their ministries and several of the focal points have already begun planning internal meetings to apply the lessons learned in the workshop.

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