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Understanding relationships between biodiversity, carbon, forests and people: the key to achieving REDD+ objectives

Efforts to cut carbon emissions by curbing deforestation may fail unless they avoid negative impacts on biodiversity and local people. Biodiversity is key in determining a forest’s ability to absorb greenhouse gases, and accounting for those who live in or near forests when implementing REDD+ programmes makes achieving carbon and biodiversity goals more likely. This report argues that reducing the rates of global forest loss and degradation can also bring significant social and economic benefits, but only if the right conditions are in place. To ensure that benefits from REDD+ are achieved, it is important to understand the underlying causes: the relationships between carbon, biodiversity and people and how these are affected by management, as well as the broader governance context which frames REDD+. The report aims to further this understanding by providing recent and policy-relevant scientific information to support decision-making on activities for meeting REDD+ objectives.