• Open Access

Risky business: an uncertain future for biodiversity conservation finance through REDD+


  • Editor
    Jos Barlow

Jacob Phelps, Edward L Webb, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, 14 Science Drive 4, Singapore 117543. Tel: +65 651-67836; fax: +65 651-6184. E-mail: jacob.phelps@gmail.com, ted.webb@nuss.edu.sg


Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation and through the conservation, sustainable management, and enhancement of carbon stocks (REDD+) offers unprecedented potential funding for forest conservation and associated biodiversity. However, as a growing number of biodiversity conservation projects link with carbon emissions mitigation efforts, they might also be exposed to significant financial risks. REDD+ projects currently face uncertainty over future demand for carbon credits, the potential for inconsistent donor support in the long-term, carbon market volatility, investor preference for low-cost emissions mitigation over cobenefits, and the possibility of a short-lived REDD+ mechanism. The private sector is aware of the associated financial risks, which remain largely unaddressed within the conservation literature. Biodiversity conservationists need to identify a balance between maximizing near-term REDD+ opportunities and insulating themselves from long-term financial risks. We describe some of the prospective financial risks for biodiversity conservation efforts linked with REDD+, and propose initial strategies for financial resilience.