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

scenario. Simultaneously, in the zoning-plan based scenario, change in mean annual river discharge is reduced by 50%, mean annual evapotranspiration is increased two-fold, aquatic habitat quality and water quality is increased in 40% of the region's streams, and habitat fragmentation is reduced by nearly two-thirds and interior habitat area is increased by nearly 50%. In contrast, a scenario which prioritizes the protection of riparian areas and extant protected areas and indigenous territories (Protected Area+) without protecting forests on private lands in the region as well, would only achieve emissions reductions of 1.6 million tCO2e over BAU, a more than 200-fold decrease relative to the Zoning scenario. Although aquatic habitat quality and water quality is increased by the same amount as in the Zoning scenario, the gains for regional climate (through evapotranspiration), river discharge regulation, and habitat interior quality are much less.

Overall, these results highlight the importance of the spatial distribution of forest carbon that is protected or restored through REDD. Although the Protected Area+ scenario reduced emissions by less than 2 percent by 2020, it created connectivity across the Xingu headwaters through riparian zone forest restoration, which also provided shade and organic matter inputs to the streams. Protection of hydrological functions of watersheds and forest interior habitats was achieved only when severe restrictions were placed on agricultural and pasture expansion on private lands, as represented in the Zoning scenario. Furthermore, if Zoning-type scenario were to be developed and implemented at a state or national level, the potential threat for leakage to occur would be greatly reduced. Separate analyses indicate that REDD could suppress agricultural expansion in the region with a moderate carbon price.


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Contact: Elizabeth Braun
ebraun@whrc.org
508-540-9900
Woods Hole Research Center
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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