Protection of forests

The protection of forests under global biodiversity and climate policy



Today, forests cover about 30% of the global land area. Throughout the last 8,000 years over half of the global forest area was converted to other land uses – mostly during the last century. Today there are about 4 billion ha of forest left, 36% of which are still primary forests (FAO 2010).
The increasing deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries accounts for about 20% of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions (IPCC 2007). The development of incentive schemes for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD+) is therefore currently one of the most important issues of the post-Kyoto negotiations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The idea behind REDD+ is to compensate developing countries for avoiding deforestation, thereby reducing CO2 emissions. REDD+ has the potential to stimulate synergies between the climate protection goals of the UNFCCC and the objectives for biodiversity conservation set by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). However, there are not yet internationally recognised guidelines for the design of this mechanism.


Project objectives

This project aims to analyse the potential risks and opportunities of different REDD+ options regarding the CBD goals for forest biodiversity conservation. Based on the analyses, suggestions will be developed on how to create the biggest possible synergies between biodiversity goals and the implementation of REDD+.

Remnants of the Ambohitantely Forest in the sub-humid highland
of Madagascar.
(© CB Schmitt)










The research issue is approached from two angles: Subproject 1 (SP1) performs an analysis and evaluation of forest and climate protection strategies at the international policy level. This is carried out by the Institute for Forest and Environmental Policy (IFP). The Institute for Landscape Management heads Subproject 2 (SP2), an evaluation of how forest biodiversity conservation, assessment and monitoring can be integrated with climate protection strategies at the national and the project level.



During the initial phase of the project an extensive analysis of scientific literature and existing knowledge was carried out. This was supplemented by an expert workshop. In the second and third year of the project, interviews will be conducted pertaining to each subproject.

Communication with international experts from scientific, economic and policy-making backgrounds is a central aspect of the project. This is supported by a project advisory group ( PAG) composed of experts from various non-governmental organisations and political institutions.

Furthermore, communication with other organisations and the analysis of REDD+ negotiations are facilitated by participation in the Conferences of the Parties (COP) and the subsidiary bodies of the UNFCCC and the CBD (SBSTA and SBSTTA, respectively). In addition to the planned contributions for scientific journals, the political connectivity of the findings is an important goal of the project. This is made possible by the continuous observation of the political processes, and is essential for developing concrete and politically relevant options for the design of the REDD+ mechanism. These are being fed into the ongoing processes through strategy papers, presentations and consultative discussions.

The village Montevideo in Huánuco Region, Peru, founded in the 1980ies. (© CB Schmitt)











Subproject 2 objectives

While the international negotiations are still ongoing, countries proceed in developing their national REDD+ strategies assisted, e.g., by the World Bank Forest Carbon Partnership Facility ( FCPF ) and the UN-REDD Programme. At the same time REDD+ pilot projects, which aim at selling carbon credits on the voluntary carbon market, are being initiated by a wide range of different stakeholders. Subproject 2 aims to evaluate the aspects of biodiversity that are being considered in REDD+ pilot projects and at the national level in order to develop recommendations for the assessment and monitoring of biodiversity under REDD+ at different geographic scales.

The research will be carried out in Peru and Kenya, which represent two different types of REDD+ countries. In Peru, a forest-rich country with relatively low historical deforestation, REDD+ activities mainly aim at avoiding deforestation. In contrast in Kenya, which has already lost much of its forests, enhancement of carbon stocks (afforestation/reforestation) is an important REDD+ activity. In both countries interviews with REDD+ and biodiversity experts will be carried out from the project to the national level. In addition, biodiversity data and monitoring methodologies that are available at the different geographic scales will be compiled.

Timber transport in Ucayali Region, Peru. (© CB Schmitt)









First results

A first milestone of the project was the expert workshop “Greening REDD+: Challenges and opportunities for forest biodiversity conservation”, held by the IFP and the Institute for Landscape Management in Freiburg from April 14th - 16th, 2010. Over 30 experts from 11 different countries with scientific, political and practical backgrounds got together to discuss the issues of “biodiversity safeguards & co-benefits,” “sustainable forest management,” “forest biodiversity monitoring,” and “protected areas and REDD+”. Prior to the workshop a background paper (pdf-file, 0,4 MB) relating to biodiversity under REDD+ was produced; a workshop summary (pdf-file, 0,3 MB) was presented at the CBD SBSTTA 14 in May 2010.

Subproject 2 has successfully completed the field research in Peru and Kenya. Furthermore, two related studies analyse the role of biodiversity in the national REDD+ strategies of Ethiopia and Ecuador. In addition to the publications listed below, further project results will be published in due course.



ENTENMANN, S. (2010): Certification of REDD+ pilot projects for biodiversity conservation. In: Sheil, D., Putz, F.R. & Zagt, R.J. (Hrsg.): Biodiversity conservation in certified forests.
Tropenbos International, Wageningen, the Netherlands: 157-162.

ENTENMANN, S. (2012): Análisis de proyectos piloto de REDD+ en los departamentos de Madre de Dios y San Martín con especial enfoque en sus implicancias sobre la biodiversidad. Instituto de Manejo de Paisajes, Universidad de Friburgo, Alemania y PROFONANPE, Lima, Perú. (PDF 1,6 MB)

ENTENMANN, S., KAPHEGYI, T. & SCHMITT, C.B. (2014): Forest biodiversity monitoring for REDD+: A case study of actors' views in Peru. Environmental Management 53 (2): 300-317.

ENTENMANN, S. & SCHMITT, C.B. (2011): REDD+ as a contribution to conservation and connectivity of World Heritage Forest Sites. In: Adapting to Change - Report on the State of Conservation of World Heritage Forests in 2011.  World Heritage Papers No. 30, UNESCO, Paris: 32-38.

ENTENMANN, S. & SCHMITT, C.B. (2013a): Actors' perceptions of forest biodiversity values and policy issues related to REDD+ implementation in Peru. Biodiversity and Conservation 22 (5): 1229-1254.

ENTENMANN, S. & SCHMITT, C.B. (2013b): Consideration of biodiversity in REDD+ projects in Peru and Kenya. In: PISTORIUS, T. & SCHMITT, C.B. (Hrsg.): The Protection of Forests under Global Biodiversity and Climate Policies: Policy Options and Case Studies on Greening REDD+. BfN-Skripten 344. Bundesamt für Naturschutz (BfN), Bonn, Germany: 44-101. (PDF 2,05 MB)

ENTENMANN, S.K., SCHMITT, C.B. & KONOLD, W. (2014): REDD+-related activities in Kenya: actors’ views on biodiversity and monitoring in a broader policy context. Biodiversity and Conservation.

GARDNER, T.A., BURGESS, N.D., AGUILAR-AMUCHASTEGUI, N., BARLOW, J., BERENGUER, E., CLEMENTS, T., DANIELSEN, F., FERREIRA, J., FODEN, W., LEES, A.C., ROMAN-CUESTA, R.M., PARRY, L., SCHMITT, C.B., STRANGE, N., KHAN, S.M., THEILADE, I. & VIEIRA, I.C.G. (2012): A framework for integrating biodiversity concerns into national REDD+ programmes. Biological Conservation 154: 61-71.

KIBRET, Y. (2014): Prospects and stumbling blocks for REDD+ implementation in Ethiopia: A case study of Bale Eco-Region Project. MSc thesis, University of Freiburg, Germany.

MASIAS, K. (2011): Challenges of company-community partnerships: Study case in Brazil nut concessions in the context of REDD+, Madre de Dios, Peru. MSc thesis, University of Freiburg, Germany.

PARROTTA, A., WILDBURGER, C. & MANSOURIAN, S. (Hrsg.) (2012): Understanding Relationships between Biodiversity, Carbon, Forests and People: The Key to Achieving REDD+ Objectives. IUFRO World Series Vol. 31. IUFRO, Vienna .

PISTORIUS, T. & SCHMITT, C.B. (Hrsg.) (2013): The Protection of Forests under Global Biodiversity and Climate Policies: Policy Options and Case Studies on Greening REDD+. BfN-Skripten 344. Bundesamt für Naturschutz (BfN), Bonn, Germany. (PDF 2,05 MB)

PISTORIU,S T., SCHMITT, C.B., BENICK, D. & ENTENMANN, S. (2011): Greening REDD+: Challenges and opportunities for forest biodiversity conservation. Policy Paper, Second revised edition. University of Freiburg, Germany. (PDF 0.3 MB)

PISTORIUS, T., SCHMITT, C.B., BENICK, D., ENTENMANN, S. & REINECKE, S. (2011): Greening REDD+ – challenges and opportunities for integrating biodiversity safeguards at and across policy levels. German Journal of Forest Research 182 (5/6): 82-98.

SCHMITT, C.B. (2013): Global tropical forest types as support for the consideration of biodiversity under REDD+. Carbon Management 4(5): 501-517.

SCHMITT, C.B., ENTENMANN, S., DELGADO, J. & WENDT, V. (2013): Actors perceptions of issues in biodiversity assessment and monitoring under REDD+: Case studies from Peru, Ecuador, Kenya and Ethiopia. In: PISTORIUS, T. & SCHMITT, C.B. (Hrsg.): The Protection of Forests under Global Biodiversity and Climate Policies: Policy Options and Case Studies on Greening REDD+. BfN-Skripten 344. Bundesamt für Naturschutz (BfN), Bonn, Germany: 102-135. (PDF 2,05 MB)

WENDT, V. (2012): Connecting REDD+ and Biodiversity Conservation in Ethiopia - Working Practice, Suitable Areas for Actions as well as Effective Indicators and Monitoring. MSc thesis, University of Freiburg, Germany.



2009 - 2013


Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) with funds from the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU); Graduate Funding from the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg

Supervisor (TP2):

Dr. Christine Schmitt

Research associate (TP2):

Steffen Entenmann

Partners (TP1):

Dr. Till Pistorius (IFP) - Gesamtleitung
Sabine Reinecke (IFP) - Bearbeitung
Dinah Benick (IFP) - Bearbeitung




Benutzerspezifische Werkzeuge