View slides (no podcast available)
Speaker: Dr Christine B Schmitt, Chair of Landscape Management, University of Freiburg
The international financing mechanism REDD+, as negotiated under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), aims at reducing the large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries. There is great potential to create synergies between the REDD+ objectives for climate change mitigation and the objectives for biodiversity conservation of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). At the same time, the mechanism entails substantial biodiversity risks related to its strong focus on carbon. Although a final decision on REDD+ is still pending, the international negotiations have already triggered much action on the ground from the development of national REDD+ strategies to the implementation of REDD+ pilot projects. This talk will give an overview of the international developments related to REDD+ and present a conceptual framework for the integration of biodiversity concerns into the implementation of REDD+ initiatives. Drawing on a number of case studies, e.g., from Peru and Kenya, the challenges related to biodiversity consideration under REDD+ will be discussed. As the future of REDD+ is still uncertain, the question is how current initiatives can be sustained in order to tackle global change in developing countries.
Christine Schmitt holds a position as assistant professor at the Chair for Landscape Management (University of Freiburg, Germany) since 2009. She is a landscape ecologist and gained her PhD at the Centre for Development Research (Bonn, Germany) working on plant diversity, use and conservation of the Ethiopian moist montane forests with wild coffee. Christine’s research interests cover the assessment and management of tropical forest biodiversity in the context of global change, the setting of conservation priorities at different spatial scales and the evaluation of international environmental policies related to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and REDD+. Christine attended recent CBD negotiations as a member of the German delegation and was invited to join the Global Forest Expert Panel on Biodiversity, Forest Management and REDD+. Her case studies concentrate on Ethiopia, Kenya, Peru and Ecuador.