Can REDD+ deliver biodiversity co-benefits in Indonesia?

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Loss of tropical forests is a major driver of biodiversity loss (Wilcove et al. 2013). The REDD+ mechanism can therefore, in principle, play an important role in tackling biodiversity loss by incentivizing the reduction of deforestation and forest degradation (Busch and Grantham 2013). However, concerns that REDD+ could potentially harm biodiversity if it is not properly regulated, led to the proposition of biodiversity safeguards and co-benefits at the UNFCCC negotiation in Copenhagen at COP15 in 2009 (Visseren-Hamakers et al. 2012). A key concern is that preferential targeting of REDD+ in high carbon areas could lead to the displacement of land-use pressure (leakage) into high biodiversity but low carbon areas (Harrison and Paoli 2012) or divert funds for conservation away from high biodiversity areas with lower carbon (Phelps et al. 2012). The degree to which carbon and biodiversity are co-located in the landscape will influence the potential for REDD+ to deliver biodiversity benefits (Strassburg et al. 2010). However, additional gains for both will depend on the degree to which REDD+ focuses on areas under the threat of deforestation and forest degradation (Busch and Grantham 2013; Venter 2014).

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