The prospect of linking carbon markets with forest conservation is a popular topic within the environmental community. The 4th IUCN World Conservation Congress provided a high-profile platform to exchange ideas on the role of forests as carbon stores. Animated by presentations spanning a variety of perspectives, the Global Thematic Workshop was one of the major events dedicated to this ecomplex issue. With hundreds of delegates in attendance, valuable insights were shared on the socio-economic and ecological risks and opportunities of forest carbon projects.
The opportunity to align carbon markets with sustainable development semms too good to miss. With forests increasingly recognized for their role in regulating the global climate, it may be expected that the incentive to preserve them as 'carbon stocks' will grow in years to come. Different strategies aiming at 'Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation' (REDD) are currently being debated. Within this context, carbon markets could potentially be hanessed to help meet climate change mitigation objectives by supporting conservation and development efforts in tropical forests.