COP18 (30/11/12) - Jonah Busch, a Climate and Forest Economist at Conservation International, describes how work to protect forests must take into account more than just their role in mitigating climate change.
Busch explains that, whether we are aware of them or not, forests provide a multitude of valuable services to all of human society by storing carbon, providing habitats for many species and providing clean water for peoples living downstream. He emphasises that there are many reasons to protect forests, not just their role as carbon sinks.
Busch expands on Conservation International's proposal that the REDD+ forests programme includes a system of 'biodiversity payments' to ensure that the programme can protect biodiversity in the same way it protects forests as a carbon sequestration tool. He explains that this would be an external addition to the existing system, open to those interested in conservation combined with or independent to carbon sequestration.