Do Uncertainties in Climate Change Predictions Make It Impossible to Set Priorities for Conservation and Management of Biodiversity?

The consequences of climate change to social, economical and environment are becoming the most concern issues of political, business and society leaders in both developed and developing countries. However, prediction of climate change impact becomes the concern among the scientists around the world. Uncertainties in climate prediction are the main obstacles for climate change mitigation and adaptation.The high level of uncertainties in climate changes prediction causes high risk in management action. The uncertainties can mean that the impact of climate change can be lower or higher than expected by scientists.The uncertainties derive from the range of socio-economic development scenarios, climate model projections, the downscaling of climate effects to local/regional scales, impacts assessments, and feedbacks from adaptation and mitigation activities. In addition, high level in uncertainties can increase the cost of climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies. Moreover, setting up the priorities for conservation and management of biodiversity is the challenge for all the countries in the world because climate change may happen rapidly than the current prediction. This is not meant that it is impossible to set up the priorities for conservation and management under the uncertain impact of climate change. This essay will look into the conservation and management measures of biodiversity under the climate variability due to uncertainties in prediction. Then it will highlight some practical examples from both developed and under developed countries.

Cambodia’s forests and climate change: Mitigating drivers of deforestation

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is exploring a mechanism to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) to address global warming. This represents a major expansion of earlier forest-oriented initiatives under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) that focused on afforestation and reforestation activities. While the scope of REDD projects is still being defined, potential categories include conservation, stock enhancement, and sustainable management, creating a range of new opportunities for forest-related climate projects. The core concept behind REDD is that deforestation trends can be slowed, halted, or even reversed conserving billions of tons of carbon that would otherwise be emitted. To succeed, REDD projects will need to control powerful drivers of deforestation and forest degradation operating at multiple levels and carried-out by a variety of actors, from rural people to political and economic elites. This case study of a REDD pilot project in northwest Cambodia explores how drivers might be contained under a project scenario and how the future international articulation of project design parameters could enable or constrain a global REDD strategy. The paper concludes that to be successful REDD projects will require a hybrid approach in which local drivers are controlled by communities and national drivers are mitigated through policy actions necessitating strong partnerships between diverse institutions.

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