Forests, by acting as carbon sinks, mitigate the effects of climate change. Forests, and their associated biodiversity, on the other hand are directly and indirectly impacted by changing climatic conditions as well as elements of climate policy. While the climate change gained prominence in political and public discourse, biodiversity lagged behind, so did the adaptation under the existing market mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol. These mechanisms have resulted in loss of natural forest cover and growth of monocultures in pursuit of carbon credits. The adaptation gap can be addressed by new mechanisms: Cooperative approaches, non-market approaches (NMAs) and Sustainable Development Mechanism (SDM) established by the Paris Agreement which accords equal importance to mitigation and adaptation. This paper compares NMAs with Kyoto mechanisms and studies their role in environmental and social safeguards. It addresses three main aspects: (i) Role of climate policies in biodiversity conservation; (ii) Creating socio-environmental safeguards in forestry, and; (iii) Importance and role of NMAs in encouraging forest protection. It comes to the conclusion that lessons learnt from the on-going projects must be accounted for while implementing NMAs, which offer better options for streamlining climate change and biodiversity actions through joint mitigation and adaptation approach.
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Vol. 20 • No. 1