The UN Environment Program (UNEP) launched a new Carbon and Biodiversity atlas during the COP-14 climate conference in Poznan, Poland. The atlas was put together to demonstrate the use of spatial analysis to find areas that were both high in biodiversity and carbon. Most of these areas are in the developing world, which ties into the concept of reduced emissions from deforestation and degredation (REDD).
REDD suggests that developed countries should invest in protecting these areas to offset their own emissions, perhaps as part of carbon cap and trade programs. By combining carbon sinks with biodiversity, there’s the hope for a win-win situation that preserves biodiversity and the ecosystem services that the forest provides.
National-scale maps for six different countries show the spatial correlation of areas that are a high priority for biodiversity conservation as well as the areas with high carbon storage. The atlas is meant only as a demonstration that could be tuned and applied to smaller geographies for more in-depth analysis. The authors suggest that the addition of socio-economic data could help to illustrate how conservation investments would benefit local livelihoods.
View or download the report here (PDF).