Preserving and restoring natural carbon sinks

Forests and tropical forest ecosystems in particular, store large amounts of carbon in their biomass. As a result of land-use change, deforestation and forest overexploitation, this stored carbon is released into the atmosphere as CO2 and contributes to global climate change. According to figures from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the resulting greenhouse gas emissions make up roughly twelve percent of total anthropogenic emissions worldwide. The international community has therefore developed an approach known as ‘REDD+’, which offers financial incentives to preserve forests in emerging market and developing economies. This approach aims to reduce emissions from deforestation and the degradation of forests in the long term.

Within the funding area ‘Preserving and restoring natural carbon sinks’, an important part of the work of International Climate Initiative (IKI) is supporting other countries to implement the REDD+ framework. IKI is also funding projects for forest and landscape restoration (FLR) as part of the Bonn Challenge.

The support targets strategies intended for the implementation of the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) in partner countries. Priorities here include funding sustainable business models and mobilising private investment. One central aim of this work area is to utilise synergies between forest conservation and biodiversity conservation, and between emissions mitigation and adaptation to the effects of climate change.

Global ideas for climate action and biodiversity conservation

Insights from IKI projects offer innovative input for international negotiations conducted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Know-how from project work is also applied as part of international and multilateral initiatives. 

The United Nations emphasises the importance of restoring degraded forests and other landscapes and recognizes the vital contribution they make in protecting the climate and biodiversity, and has officially designated the period 2021 to 2030 as the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. The objective of this UN Decade is to contribute to furthering the goals of three UN Conventions on climate change, biodiversity and desertification, as well as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Sustainable development also includes the moderate usage of ecosystems that make significant contributions to the livelihoods of local communities in IKI partner countries. A secure source of income coupled with protection of forests, also plays an important role for the long-term preservation of these ecosystems.

Ecosystem diversity offers a wide range of opportunities for carbon sequestration

Alongside FLR and REDD+ measures, which are implemented especially in tropical countries, IKI also finances measures for mitigating emissions and sequestering carbon in other ecosystems: these include moorlands and grasslands as well as boreal coniferous forests.

Intact forests for climate change mitigation: the REDD+ framework

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Bonn Challenge: restoring forest landscapes

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Emission mitigation and carbon sequestration - MRV

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Land usage and agriculture: potential for climate change mitigation

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Zukunft – Umwelt – Gesellschaft (ZUG) gGmbH
IKI Secretariat

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