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Biodiversity and livelihoods: REDD+ benefits

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Forest ecosystems that have the ability to adapt to climate change can provide for the livelihoods of forest-dependent people and communities who are partners in safeguarding forests and supporting the mitigation of climate change. To sustain this partnership, these people should actively participate in the decision-making process and receive financial compensation for their efforts. This brochure demonstrates how measures and policies can be shaped to simultaneously address climate change, biodiversity loss and poverty. It provides background information on the linkages between ecosystem-based adaptation and mitigation measures. It also shows how the conservation and sustainable use of forest biodiversity can remedy forest degradation. It identifies opportunities for synergies and mutual enhancement of the objectives of international agreements, particularly the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity, as well as decisions taken by the United Nations General Assembly following the recommendations of the UN Forum on Forests.This brochure describes the following forest management options that exist to promote adaptation:

Maintain genetic diversity in forests by stopping the practice of selecting only certain trees for harvesting based on site, growth rate, or form.
Maintain landscape structural complexity using natural forests and natural processes as models.
Maintain connectivity across forest landscapes by reducing fragmentation, recovering lost forest types, expanding the protected area networks, and establishing ecological corridors.
Maintain functional diversity and eliminate conversion of diverse natural forests to monotypic species plantations.
Reduce non-natural competition by controlling invasive species and reduce reliance on non-native tree crop species for plantation and afforestation projects.
Manage semi-natural forests in a sustainable manner that recognises and plans for predicted future climate.
Maintain biodiversity on all scales and elements, and protect isolated or separate populations of trees.
Ensure that there are national and regional networks of scientifically designed, comprehensive, adequate and representative protected areas.

The brochure suggests that in any possible Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD-plus) financing option, countries would benefit from increasing their long-term chance of success and spreading the risk of their investment by:

Maintaining or restoring high levels of biodiversity in REDD-plus project areas.
Maintaining or creating sufficiently large, unfragmented forest areas for REDD-plus activities.
Involving key stakeholders, particularly indigenous and local communities, in all steps of REDD-plus planning and implementation.
Ensuring transparency, governance and security in land tenure.