Carbon emissions from deforestation account for an estimated 20% of global carbon emissions (IPCC 2007); second only to that produced by fossil fuel combustion. To successfully reduce greenhouse gas emissions from land cover change, effective strategies for protecting natural habitats are needed. Designation of new protected areas and strengthening of the current protected area network could form one contribution towards achieving this.
Knowledge of the carbon storage function of protected areas would therefore be a useful input into the development of strategies for reducing emissions from land use change; in particular, it is relevant to the current discussions surrounding reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
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