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A new UN-REDD Programme Info Brief examines “REDD+ and adaptation: Identifying complementary responses to climate change”. The Brief highlights the complementarities and potential trade-offs between REDD+ and adaptation actions.

The Brief suggests that ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change (EBA) may help to achieve REDD+ objectives in different ways. For example, conserving mangrove forests so as to counter damage from storm surges can also reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Adaptation actions can also change future drivers of land use change and so reduce  the risk of emission reductions resulting from REDD+ being reversed. Climate change itself causes forest carbon stocks to decline, yet this risk can be countered by adaptation actions that maintain more resilient forest ecosystems. Furthermore, when carried out, REDD+ activities can maintain and enhance ecosystem services that support societal adaptation. REDD+ actions may also influence aspects of adaptive capacity.

Despite these complementarities, both shared challenges and potential trade-offs between REDD+ and adaptation exist. Applying social and environmental safeguards can help address some of these. Furthermore, integrating both adaptation and mitigation into wider forest policy, as well as the strategies and plans of related sectors - at local as well as national scales - can help maximize synergies and minimize trade-offs.

Experience of joint REDD+ and adaptation actions remains limited. Countries may wish to look for opportunities to link adaptation and mitigation actions and funds, as well as document and articulate the benefits at a national level so that these experiences can be further shared and learned from by others. The Info Brief suggests that practical guidance on the implementation of joint actions could be developed based on such experiences.

Download the publication here.

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