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New research provides insights into potential ecological costs and cobenefits of REDD
Date:11/16/2009

A new paper just published in Global Change Biology examines the potential of a REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) mechanism to provoke ecological damage and/or promote ecological cobenefits. Such analysis is key as negotiations and discussions continue between now and early December when the United Nation's Framework Convention on Climate Change holds its 15th Conference of the Parties, where an agreement on REDD may emerge. Scientists and research staff from the Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC), the Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amaznia (IPAM ), and the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG) authored the paper.

According to Claudia Stickler, of the Woods Hole Research Center and IPAM and the paper's lead author, "There are reasons to be concerned about possible ecological damages that could be caused by REDD, and to make sure that those damages are kept to a minimum, but the overwhelming evidence points to enormous ecological benefits overall, especially if REDD programs are well-planned."

The authors addressed three questions in the paper: (1) What are the potential ecological costs of the specific interventions that may be carried out under the aegis of REDD and how can they be mitigated? (2) What are the potential ecological cobenefits of REDD interventions? (3) How can these potential costs and cobenefits of REDD be measured and incorporated into monitoring programs? They then examined these potential ecological cobenefits through analysis of possible REDD program interventions in a large-scale Amazon landscape. Finally, they discuss the possible integration of ecological cobenefits into the REDD architecture.

Nations could potentially participate in REDD by slowing clear-cutting of mature tropical forest, slowing or decreasing the impact of selective logging, promoting forest regeneration and restoration, and expanding tree plantations. REDD could also foster efforts to reduce
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Contact: Elizabeth Braun
ebraun@whrc.org
508-540-9900
Woods Hole Research Center
Source:Eurekalert

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