New research supports that protecting ‘high carbon’ rainforests also protects threatened wildlife

This week, a research paper titled ‘High carbon stock forests provide co-benefits for tropical biodiversity’ was published in the Journal of Applied Ecology. The research highlights that methodologies, such as the High Carbon Stock Approach, that identify and conserve forest areas containing large amounts of carbon, are beneficial for biodiversity conservation.

The study was carried out by a team of researchers from the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) at the University of Kent, who have been undertaking wildlife surveys in the forests of Borneo, in an area undergoing conversion to oil palm. Their findings revealed that when high-resolution maps were used to map forest and carbon resources, areas of high carbon were clearly seen to support the most mammal species. This relationship was driven by species of conservation concern such as orangutan and clouded leopards, suggesting that mammals vulnerable to deforestation and forest degradation will benefit the most from carbon policies.

The results have important implications for policymakers in business, government organisations and NGOs, by confirming that mechanisms like UN’s Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) Framework and HCS approaches to designate land for protection have strong potential for biodiversity conservation in the oil palm sector.

The paper was written by the University of Kent with support from the HCS Approach Steering Group, and can be accessed here.

Further information on the study’s release is available on the University of Kent’s website here.

This article was also covered by Mongabay. You can find a link to the post here.