Politics of Climate Change and Biodiversity

Different international initiatives exist to tackle the challenge of climate change and its impact on biodiversity. While both the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UN-FCCC) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) were founded at the Earth Summit 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, they remained relatively isolated in the following 20 years. It is only recently that a better integration of climate change policy and biodiversity conservation goals is getting higher priority on the political agenda. The UN-REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) program, which is part of the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol1"1 and currently probably the most powerful instrument for international climate change mitigation, aims at the reduction of greenhouse gases through the creation of financial incentives paid for the mitigation of deforestation and forest degradation. To avoid potential negative effects on biodiversity and society, it has been developed towards the REDD+ mechanism, with a stronger focus on multiple benefits including biodiversity conservation. Climate change has also been officially included as a main crosscutting issue of the CBD since 2004 after the establishment of an Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group (AHTEG) on climate change and biodiversity in 2001. During the last few years, the Rio Conventions Pavilion has been founded at the 10"1 Conference of Parties of the CBD in Nagoya (Japan, 2010) as a platform aiming at the identification of synergies between the different conventions that were established in 1992 in Rio. In 2012, as a pendant to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a new Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services (IPBES) has been established, an independent intergovernmental body to strengthen the science policy interface in the field of biodiversity and ecosystem services. In consideration of the various interactions between climate change and biodiversity, a collaboration and coordination between both policy areas is likely to become increasingly necessary.

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