The maintenance and enhancement of natural carbon stocks is now considered a key climate change mitigation measure. Emissions from land use change, mainly tropical forest loss, contribute an estimated 17.4% of total anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions (IPCC 2007), equivalent to around 5.8 Gigatonnes (Gt) of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year.
Depending on where natural carbon stocks are maintained or enhanced, other natural assets, such as biodiversity, can benefit at the same time. Simple mapping tools can help identify how carbon, biodiversity and other ecosystem services are distributed across the landscape and relate to each other.
At UNFCCC COP14 UNEP-WCMC released Carbon and biodiversity: a demonstration atlas (Kapos et al. 2008). Using global datasets on carbon storage in terrestrial ecosystems and areas of high priority for biodiversity conservation, this publication illustrated the potential of spatial analyses to assist decision-makers in identifying areas where reducing emissions from land use change could at the same time help to secure biodiversity benefits.
However, to support planning and decision-making at national and sub-national scales, such analyses must be based on data developed at an appropriate scale and should be done in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders to help prioritise among the different benefits and services under consideration.
This report presents data and analyses on areas of high carbon density and high priority for biodiversity in Jiangxi Province, China. The degree of their overlap with protected areas is assessed, and their relationship to the distribution of human population is explored.
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