Tropical forests provide us with foods, fibres and medicines, they filter water and control its flow. They also 'soak up' carbon dioxide from the air, mitigating climate change. The REDD+ programme (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) seeks to encourage sustainable forest management, thus maintaining ecosystem services, increasing resilience to climate change and conserving forest carbon stocks.
To realise the full potential of tropical forests in climate change mitigation (CCM) & the provision of other ecosystem services in the face of ongoing global change we must improve our understanding of the relationships between biodiversity (BD) and the socio-ecological processes through which we respond & adapt to change.
ROBIN will provide information for policy & resource use options under scenarios of socio-economic & climate change to: quantify interactions between terrestrial BD, land use & CCM potential in tropical Latin America; develop scenarios for CCM options by evaluating their effectiveness, unintended effects on other ecosystem services (e.g. disease mitigation) and their socio-ecological consequences.
The key question for ROBIN is: How can we manage biodiversity and land use in Latin America to mitigate climate change without unintended consequences for other ecosystem services and people?
The specific objectives are to:
1) Quantify the role of biodiversity in terrestrial ecosystems in South and Mesoamerica in mitigating climate change
2) Quantify local and regional interactions between biodiversity, land use and climate change mitigation potential and the delivery of other key ecosystem services
3) Evaluate the socio-ecological consequences of changes in biodiversity and ecosystem services under climate change
4) Evaluate the effects of current climate change mitigation policies and actions on ecological and socio-economic conditions
5) Analyse the impacts of alternative land-use scenarios (and other mitigation options) aimed at maximising climate mitigation potential while minimising loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services and avoiding undesirable ecological and socio-economic effects and
6) Provide guidance on land-use planning and other climate change mitigation options such as low carbon strategies and bio-fuel production.