Carbon, biodiversity & ecosystem services:
exploring co-benefits


The CBD has devoted considerable effort to considering biodiversity in the context of its relationship to climate change and desertification. Its first Ad hoc Technical Expert Group (AHTEG) on Biological Diversity and Climate Change was established in 2001 to provide scientific and technical advice on how biodiversity considerations can best be integrated into the UNFCCC (see CBD Technical Series No. 10). In 2006, an AHTEG on Biodiversity and Adaptation to Climate Change issued a guidance document on promoting synergies between activities which address biological diversity, desertification, land degradation and climate change (see CBD Technical Series No. 25), and a CBD decision on bringing the agendas of the three Rio Conventions closer together was announced (decision VIII/30). In 2009, a report of the second AHTEG on Biodiversity and Climate Change provided insight into connecting biodiversity and climate change mitigation and adaptation (see CBD Technical Series No.41), with a significant portion of the report focusing on REDD issues.

Within its wider thematic framework, the CBD has a programme of work on forest biodiversity that integrates several key biodiversity and climate change considerations. The programme consists of 12 goals, one of which aims to "reduce the threats and mitigate the impacts of threatening processes on forest biological diversity", including the negative impacts of climate change. Another goal aims to "protect, recover, and restore forest biological diversity", providing an important link to climate change mitigation activities aimed at forest restoration.

The CBD also has a Programme of Work on Protected Areas, which recognizes the role that protected areas can play in adaptive measures to cope with climate change. One of the programme goals includes provisions for the integration of climate change adaptation measures in protected area planning, management strategies, and design of protected area systems. A 2010 CBD report titled "Making protected areas relevant: a guide to integrating protected areas into wider landscapes, seascapes, and sectoral plans and strategies" explored the benefits of this type of integration (see Technical Series No. 44).