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Gardner T.A.,University of Cambridge | Burgess N.D.,University of Cambridge | Burgess N.D.,Copenhagen University | Aguilar-Amuchastegui N.,WWF U.S. Conservation Science Program | And 19 more authors.
Biological Conservation | Year: 2012

The UNFCCC mechanism for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation in developing countries (REDD+) represents an unprecedented opportunity for the conservation of forest biodiversity. Nevertheless, there are widespread concerns surrounding the possibility of negative environmental outcomes if biodiversity is not given adequate consideration throughout the REDD+ process. We propose a general framework for incorporating biodiversity concerns into national REDD+ programmes based on well-established ecological principles and experiences. First, we identify how biodiversity distribution and threat data, together with data on biodiversity responses to forest change and management, can be readily incorporated into the strategic planning process for REDD+ in order to identify priority areas and activities for investment that will deliver returns for both carbon and biodiversity. Second, we propose that assessments of changes in biodiversity following REDD+ implementation could be greatly facilitated by paralleling, where possible, the existing IPCC architecture for assessing carbon emissions. A three-tiered approach is proposed for biodiversity assessment, where lower tiers can provide a realistic starting point for countries with fewer data and lower technical capacities. Planning and assessment of biodiversity safeguards for REDD+ need not overburden an already encumbered UNFCCC process. Immediate progress is already possible for a large number of developing countries, and a gradual, phased approach to implementation would minimise risks and facilitate the protection of additional biodiversity benefits from REDD+ activities. Greater levels of coordination between the UNFCCC and CBD, as well as other agencies and stakeholder groups interested in forest conservation are needed if biodiversity safeguards are to be fully adopted and implemented. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Danielsen F.,Nordisk Fond for Miljo og Udvikling | Skutsch M.,National Autonomous University of Mexico | Skutsch M.,Sustainable Development Technology | Burgess N.D.,Universitetsparken 15 | And 17 more authors.
Conservation Letters | Year: 2011

Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD+) is a policy mechanism now agreed under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from developing countries through the sustainable management of forests, while providing co-benefits of biodiversity conservation and livelihood support. Implementation challenges include linking remote sensing and national forest inventories of carbon stocks, to local implementation and measuring carbon loss from forest degradation. Community-based forest monitoring can help overcome some of these challenges. We show that local people can collect forest condition data of comparable quality to trained scientists, at half the cost. We draw on our experience to propose how and where local REDD+ monitoring can be established. Empowering communities to own and monitor carbon stocks could provide a rapid and cost-effective way of absorbing carbon dioxide emissions, while potentially contributing to local livelihoods and forest biodiversity conservation. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

Danielsen F.,Nordisk Fond for Miljo og Udvikling | Topp-Jorgensen E.,University of Aarhus | Levermann N.,Ministry of Fisheries | Lovstrom P.,Ministry of Fisheries | And 3 more authors.
Polar Geography | Year: 2014

The climate is changing and the people in the Arctic are facing huge challenges. Many rely on natural resources for both subsistence and income. Successful adaptation to climate change and the sustainable use of resources requires observation of the environment. Scientific knowledge of the environment is incomplete and conventional scientific monitoring is logistically difficult. Local fishers and hunters observe the environment all year-round. Their observations and knowledge are, however, not consistently quantified, analyzed, or used for resource management. We present a simple, field-based system for monitoring and managing resources developed specifically to enable Greenlandic fishers and hunters to document trends in living resources and to propose management decisions themselves. This system was designed to build upon existing informal observing methods, and there is interest in the system among rural fishers and hunters. We describe correspondence between community members' perceptions and professional scientists' assessments of the abundance of sea-ice, shipping, fish, mammals, and birds. Community-based documentation can pinpoint particular species and areas that are in need of attention. At the same time, it can help link observed environmental changes to management action. We hope this paper will encourage other stakeholders to develop their own local monitoring systems so as to facilitate adaptive management responses at both local and national levels. © 2014 © 2014 Taylor & Francis. Source

Danielsen F.,Nordisk Fond for Miljo og Udvikling | Pirhofer-Walzl K.,Nordisk Fond for Miljo og Udvikling | Pirhofer-Walzl K.,Copenhagen University | Adrian T.P.,Nordisk Fond for Miljo og Udvikling | And 10 more authors.
Conservation Letters | Year: 2014

Different monitoring approaches collect data that can measure progress toward achieving global environmental indicators. These indicators can: (1) Audit management actions; (2) Inform policy choices; and (3) Raise awareness among the public and policy makers. We present a generic, empirically based, framework of different environmental monitoring approaches, ranging from scientist-driven to those undertaken by local people. This framework is used to assess monitoring possibilities for the Convention on Biological Diversity "2020" indicators, and those of 11 other international environmental agreements. Of the 186 indicators in these 12 environmental agreements, 69 (37%) require monitoring by professional scientists, whereas 117 (63%) can involve community members as "citizen scientists." Promoting "community-based" and "citizen science" approaches could significantly enrich monitoring progress within global environmental conventions. It would also link environmental monitoring to awareness raising and enhanced decision-making at all levels of resource management. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

Danielsen F.,Nordisk Fond for Miljo og Udvikling | Jensen P.M.,Copenhagen University | Burgess N.D.,Copenhagen University | Burgess N.D.,World Wildlife Fund | And 11 more authors.
Conservation Letters | Year: 2014

One of the clearly stated intentions of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is to bring both "western scientific" and "indigenous and local" knowledge systems within synthetic global, regional, and thematic assessments. A major challenge will be how to use, and quality-assure, information derived from different knowledge systems. We test how indigenous and local knowledge on natural resources in Miskito and Mayangna communities in Nicaragua, validated through focus groups with community members, compares with information collected on line transects by trained scientists. Both provide comparable data on natural resource abundance, but focus groups are eight times cheaper. Such approaches could increase the amount and geographical scope of information available for assessments at all levels, while simultaneously empowering indigenous and local communities who generally have limited engagement in such processes. ©2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

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