May, 2024
Healthy forests for thriving biodiversity
Healthy forests for thriving biodiversity
May, 2024
Results story

On this year’s International Day for Biological Diversity, the World Bank’s Forest Funds are turning the spotlight on the critical importance of forests for biodiversity conservation.

The link between healthy forests and thriving biodiversity is both intuitive and indisputable. Forests cover more than 30 percent of the world and are home to 80 percent of the planet’s terrestrial biodiversity. They also play a vital role in food security, and they support livelihoods for millions of people, delivering an estimated $2 trillion per year in economic benefits.

While delivering results-based payments for emission reductions, the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) and BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes (ISFL) remain committed to promoting forest protection and biodiversity conservation as essential pillars of climate action around the world.

Sometimes referred to as a “co-benefit” of efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+), the UNFCCC has recognized the importance of taking biodiversity conservation into account when implementing REDD+ activities. The 2022 Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (adopted at the CBD COP15) broadens the importance of biodiversity as a critical component to achieve all 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Throughout its 15 years of support to developing countries across Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean, the FCPF has worked to enhance biodiversity conservation efforts at local and national levels. And the ISFL’s integrated land-use approach has helped all five of its country programs to develop emission reductions programs that directly reference national biodiversity strategies and action plans, and include biodiversity-friendly management strategies.

Strong examples of these efforts include:

  • In Colombia’s biodiversity-rich Orinoquia region, the ISFL will pilot biodiversity indicators in agricultural value chains in the country’s emission reductions program. This pilot is part of ISFL’s larger exploration of the climate-nature nexus; it seeks to understand how emission reductions programs might better promote biodiversity conservation across all of its program countries.
  • In 2022, Indonesia committed to transform its forest and other land use sector into a net carbon sink by 2030 through activities that include forest and land rehabilitation, the management of peatlands, and biodiversity conservation. 
  • Zambia’s ISFL program is addressing human-wildlife conflict through broad local stakeholder consultations, as well as providing local rangers, who are working to prevent poaching and illegal wildlife trafficking, with patrol rations and field equipment. Zambia’s ISFL program has also facilitated the creation of resource boards to enable the meaningful participation of local communities in wildlife conservation efforts.

Moving forward, the FCPF and ISFL will continue to support countries and seek out opportunities to raise the profile of biodiversity co-benefits in climate change mitigation efforts.