Conservation of Tropical Forests and Climate Change Mitigation

  • Pierre L. IbischEmail author
  • Lars Schmidt
Part of the Managing Forest Ecosystems book series (MAFE, volume 19)


The importance of emissions of greenhouse gases from tropical deforestation has been known for a long time. Finally, new political opportunities have arisen to integrate forest conservation formally into climate change mitigation. In the face of steadily progressing deforestation and the rise of the new funding mechanisms proposed and developed in the context of climate-protection policy, the prospects of forest conservation in the tropics are discussed. Lessons learned show that biodiversity degradation through deforestation cannot be understood and managed locally. The ever-increasing and complexifying globalisation and changes in global resource use are leading to permanent growth of opportunity costs for conservation. The importance of political governance that prepares the framework for effective conservation must not be neglected; insufficient governability is directly linked to ‘conservationability’. The tropical megadiversity country of Bolivia, in the centre of South America, is presented as a case study for the advancement of deforestation and the difficult and unexpectedly changing framework for conservation. The example corroborates how much deforestation in the tropics is driven and accelerated by market integration and globalisation. Based on an analysis of the different expectations and perspectives on the new mechanism of climate change mitigation REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries), we see that the corresponding transfers have great potential to be turned into avoided deforestation by both compensating opportunity costs and dealing with governance issues. New criteria for global conservation priority setting are required. Instead of conventional parameters focussing on the rather static representation of biodiversity patterns, aspects that are more functional must be taken into account (e.g., relative intensity of interaction of ecosystems with the atmosphere/weather-system/carbon, relative functionality in terms of resilience and adaptive capacity to withstand short and medium-term climate change).


Tropical Forest Climate Change Mitigation Deforestation Rate Tropical Deforestation Forest Carbon Stock 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Forest and EnvironmentUniversity of Applied Sciences EberswaldeEberswaldeGermany
  2. 2.German Development Institute (GDI)BonnGermany

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