GEF Supports Study on Forest Protected Areas

16 March 2010: The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has supported a study titled “Indigenous Lands, Protected Areas, and Slowing Climate Change,” which was published in PLoS Biology. The study involved scientists from 13 different organizations and research institutions, and finds that forest protection offers one of the most effective, practical and immediate strategies to combat climate change.

The study formulates specific recommendations for strengthening the role of protected areas in forest countries' strategies to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD), including by: identifying where indigenous lands and protected areas would most effectively reduce deforestation rates and associated emissions; establishing national monitoring to measure deforestation rates and quantify carbon emissions reductions; establishing insurance mechanisms for illegal logging or forest fires; enabling the participation of indigenous groups and local communities; and rewarding transparently those responsible for reducing emissions. Gustavo A.B. da Fonseca, co-author of the study and GEF Team Leader Natural Resources noted that “the 2,302 protected areas supported by the GEF alone span over 634 million hectares and together store an impressive 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide." [GEF Press Release] [The Study]