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Posted in GEL, news, tagged Climate Change, Corey Bradshaw, deforestation, emmissions, insurance, iREDD, James Cook University, REDD, University of Pretoria on April 19, 2012 |
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A group of environmental scientists, including Environment Institute member Professor Corey Bradshaw, say a problem-ridden economic model designed to slow deforestation can be improved by applying key concepts from the insurance industry.
REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) is a UN-promoted scheme that allows countries to trade in carbon credits to keep forests intact. It is mainly targeted at developing nations where deforestation and exploitation are a major threat.
Professor Corey Bradshaw
In a paper published online in the journal Conservation Letters, ecology researchers from Australia and South Africa argue that REDD projects can suffer from three major problems. They have proposed strengthening the scheme by using insurance policies and premiums, creating a new scheme known as iREDD.
“The idea of paying a nation to protect its forests in exchange for carbon pollution offsets can potentially reduce overall emissions by keeping the trees alive, and ensure a lot of associated biodiversity gets caught up in the conservation process,” says Professor Corey Bradshaw, Director of Ecological Modelling at the University of Adelaide’s Environment Institute and a senior author of the paper.
Professor Bradshaw and colleagues from James Cook University and the University of Pretoria have suggested using a form of REDD ‘insurance policy’ (iREDD) to avoid these problems.
iREDD involves the buyer and seller together assessing the risk in a forest conservation project, agreeing on that risk and then purchasing an insurance policy scaled to that risk.
Read the full Media Release to find out more
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New research involving Environment Institute members Martin Breed and Andy Lowe, could help protect one of the world’s most globally threatened tree species – the big leaf mahogany – from extinction.
Big leaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) is the most prized mahogany timber around the world. It is at risk of extinction in its native habitats because of the timber trade, particularly in Central and South America.
Martin Breed, one of the key researchers involved in this paper
The important role played by the trees’ pollen in the health and re-growth of mahogany forests has been studied in order to better understand how such a threatened species can be brought back from the brink of extinction.
The researchers found that the extensive exploitation of mahogany forests has had a major impact on the diversity and availability of the trees’ pollen. This in turn limits the ability of individual trees to grow and provide cross-fertilization for other mahogany trees.
According to Professor Andy Lowe, this discovery has the potential to impact the way we think about restoring forests and shows us why it is vital to protect areas of high conservation value
The project was largely funded from the European Union through the project SEEDSOURCE, with a portion of the funding coming from a grant awarded by the Australian Research Council. Dr Carlos Navarro, who was employed by CATIE (the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center) in Costa Rica at the time, was primarily responsible for directing the fieldwork and the collection of leaf and seed material used in the analysis and was the researcher who did the growth assessments.
Read the full media release to find out more about the results of this research and what Martin and Andy have to say about their findings.
The paper is titled ‘Shifts in reproductive assurance strategies and inbreeding costs associated with habitat fragmentation in Central American mahogany’ and involves Environment Institute members Martin Breed, Michael Gardner (also from Flinders University), Kym Ottewell (also from Tutane University, New Orleans), Andrew Lowe (also from DENR) and Carlos Navarro from Universidad Nacional, Costa Rica.
Read the full paper published in Ecology Letters
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A new paper involving Environment Institute member Professor Corey Bradshaw, as well as Penny van Oosterzee (Biocarbon Pty Ltd and James Cook University) and James Blignaut (University of Pretoria, South Afica) has recently been published in the journal Conservation Letters.
Professor Corey Bradshaw, co-author from the Environment Institute
The paper, titled ‘iREDD hedges against avoided deforestation’s unholy trinity of leakage, permanence and additionality’ looks at using a proven insurance-based hedging principle to stop deforestation and reduce omissions by indirectly addressing specific technical and administrative challenges.
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