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ITTO Publishes Article on Greening REDD+

October 2010: The latest issue of Tropical Forest Update, a publication of the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), includes an article on tools and measures for ensuring REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, as well as the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks) provides biodiversity benefits.

The article, written by Celia Harvey, Conservation International, and Barney Dickson, UN Environment Programme (UNEP)-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC), is titled "Greening REDD+." It argues that, along with reducing carbon emissions, well designed REDD+ can support all forest values. The authors state that several analyses show the importance of ensuring that, from a biodiversity perspective, a global REDD+ mechanism be designed to include as much tropical forest as possible, and prevent the international displacement of deforestation. They recommend that policy makers and forest managers can help ensure that REDD+ contributes to biodiversity conservation by: spatially targeting REDD+ in forests of greatest biodiversity value; prioritizing the reduction of deforestation and forest conservation over the reduction of forest degradation and forest carbon stock enhancement; establishing new protected areas where appropriate; replacing conventional logging with reduced impact logging or forest conservation; requiring environmental and social impact assessments for REDD+ programs; and/or establishing environmental safeguards.

In planning the implementation of REDD+, the authors suggest using spatially explicit scenarios that estimate the outcomes of different policy choices and development paths, as well as REDD+ Social and Environmental Standards. [Tropical Forests Update Article]