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The Role of Protected Areas in Storing Carbon and Reducing Emissions

Campbell, A., Dickson, B., Gibbs, H., Hansen, M., Kapos, V., Lysenko, I., Miles, L. Scharlemann, J. 2009. The Role of Protected Areas in Storing Carbon and Reducing Emissions. IOP Conf. Series: Earth and Environmental Science 6.

In this abstract for a presentation, the authors combine the best available data sources for carbon in vegetation, soil, protected areas and deforestation, to estimate the amount of carbon stored within protected areas.. They go on to provide an estimate of emissions from deforestation within protected areas of the humid tropical biome in the years 2000-2005.

The authors find that in the Pacific, where the density of carbon was high, only 4% of the carbon stock is stored within the current protected area network. The authors conclude that improving the effectiveness of protected area networks could be an important strategy for reducing Carbon emissions from deforestation and degradation. However, while protected areas may effectively reduce deforestation within their borders, there is a risk that deforestation pressures are merely displaced elsewhere.