REDD+ & Biodiversity

Volume 18 – January 2012

Sixteenth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice
CBD SBSTTA 16 will be held in Montreal, Canada, from 30 April to 5 May 2012 and will discuss advice on REDD+ biodiversity safeguards, and indicators to assess the impacts of REDD+ on biodiversity and on indigenous and local communities. Relevant SBSTTA documents on REDD+ safeguards are now online for peer review at

New assessment of biodiversity and forest management in REDD+
The "Global Forest Expert Panels" (GFEP) initiative of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) established an Expert Panel on Biodiversity, Forest Management, and REDD+. Led by IUFRO, the new Panel will comprehensively assess the linkages between biodiversity, carbon and forest management in the context of REDD+ and provide the results to CBD COP 11, UNFCCC COP 18 and UNFF 10. More>>

Rio Conventions Pavilion at UNFCCC COP 17
In Durban, South Africa, the Rio Conventions Pavilion hosted a multi-day programme on the linkages between biodiversity, climate change and sustainable land management. The programme included a thematic day dedicated to REDD+ and forest landscape restoration. More>>

Forest Day
Forest Day 5 was co-hosted by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the Department of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries of the Republic of South Africa, and members of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), including the Convention on Biological Diversity. It brought together more than 1,100 of the world's leaders and experts, practitioners and policy makers, advocates and investors, indigenous people, community representatives, and the media to discuss the integration of forests into climate mitigation and adaptation from local to global levels. For more information, see the summary of Forest Day 5.

REDD+ negotiations at COP 17
In Durban, UNFCCC Parties adopted two decisions related to REDD+, one on safeguards and reference levels and one on financing. For more information, see the assessment of the Durban REDD+ outcomes.

The SFPI, Carbon and Climate Change: Key messages for policy makers
Ahead of UNFCCC COP 17 in Durban, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s (WBCSD) Sustainable Forest Products Industry (SFPI) working group updated and released its recommendations for climate negotiators about how to fully leverage the carbon and biodiversity benefits of sustainable forest management to achieve climate mitigation and adaptation objectives. Developed with technical input from NCASI, the publication outlines key science based evidence and makes 11 specific recommends that will enable negotiators to leverage the significant carbon and biodiversity benefits of producing and using more wood on a sustainable basis, including the proposed REDD + mechanism. See the full report.

"Debt-for-Nature" Swap
A new agreement between The Nature Conservancy, WWF and the Indonesian and U.S. governments will allow Indonesia to redirect a portion of its foreign debt to investing in forest conservation. The $28.5 million "debt-for-nature swap" through the U.S. Tropical Forest Conservation Act will support efforts to conserve forests in East and West Kalimantan, Indonesia, on the island of Borneo.

Workshop on the UN-REDD Social and Environmental Principles and Criteria (SEPC) on 8-9 February 2012, and one-day discussion on the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) Guidelines on 10 February, Geneva, Switzerland
The objectives of the workshop on 8-9 February are to present and discuss the latest version of the UN-REDD SEPC, which will have been revised based on the feedback received during the current public consultation process (open until 20 January). Similarly, on 10 February, the UN-REDD Programme will present a summary of comments received on the FPIC Guidelines in order to clarify any outstanding key issues before finalizing the Guidelines. Feedback on the SEPC, the BeRT and the FPIC Guidelines is welcomed.

"A framework for integrating biodiversity concerns into national REDD+ programmes"
In an article to be published by Biological Conservation, an international team of authors proposes an innovative framework for integrating biodiversity concerns into national REDD+ programmes. The authors identify how biodiversity distribution and threat data, together with data on biodiversity responses to forest change and management, can be readily incorporated into the strategic planning process for REDD+ in order to identify priority areas and activities for investment that will deliver returns for both carbon and biodiversity. They propose that assessments of changes in biodiversity following REDD+ implementation could be greatly facilitated by paralleling, where possible, the existing IPCC architecture for assessing carbon emissions. They suggest a three-tiered approach for biodiversity assessment, where lower tiers can provide a realistic starting point for countries with fewer data and lower technical capacities. See the Full article

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: 9 March 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): Ramy Alaa, World Resources,  peacecorpsfriendsdrcongo