Climate Action

REDD helping to reach a negotiation in COP16

The climate change mitigation solution, REDD+, is considered fundamental in coping with climate change, and with many initiatives, including the UN-REDD Programme currently developing and supporting it, there is hope for progress in Cancun.

  • 01 December 2010
  • Websolutions

The climate change mitigation solution, REDD+, is considered fundamental in coping with climate change, and with many initiatives, including the UN-REDD Programme currently developing and supporting it, there is hope for progress in Cancun.

The 16th Conference of Parties, which opened in Cancun, Mexico on Monday, is considered by many developing nations and forest dependent people as the last chance to reach agreement on the steps towards an eventual treaty.

Delivering as One: Partnerships for REDD+ is the title given to the United Nations Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (UN-REDD) Programme event to be held in Cancun tomorrow (2nd December). As the name suggests, the event aims to synchronise climate efforts between nations and stakeholders, with a focus on responsible use of the world's resources.

With tensions high between governments involved in COP16, initiatives supporting REDD+ may offer some hope in forming negotiations. With the Kyoto Protocol due to expire in 2012, it is hoped that a legally binding agreement will be made to renew commitments on preventing and adapting to climate change. If it is not achieved in Cancun then progress this year is anticipated to lead to a treaty in COP17 taking place in Durban, South Africa.

Various channels of collaboration within the UN-REDD Programme aim to create a balance with regard to climate issues. It promotes relationships between the UN and World Bank, and between the UN, Indigenous Peoples and civil society organisations. The multifaceted partnerships that have emerged to support REDD+ will thus be strengthened, it is anticipated.

With various parties involved, presentations and discussions aim to highlight the meaningful partnerships being made to advance REDD+ efforts and what countries can learn from each other. They will look at some of the most pressing and difficult issues the world is faced with. highlighting the multiple ecosystem-based benefits of REDD+ beyond carbon and measurement, reporting, verification and monitoring for REDD+.

Heru Prasetyo, Secretary of the National REDD+ Task Force, and deputy head of the President's Delivery Unit for Development Monitoring and Oversight (PDU) from the Indonesian Government will speak at the UN-REDD Programme event, endorsing the need for a balanced approach. Scientists have warned that mechanisms for cutting carbon emissions from the forestry sector may undermine long-term prospects for biodiversity conservation in tropical countries, implying that further balancing of strategies is required.

Also speaking at the event, with regard to collaboration between the UN and Civil Society is Mariana Cristovam, Researcher with the Climate Change Programme and Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM).

The UN-REDD Programme currently has 29 partner countries spanning Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America. 12 of these are receiving support for national programme activities--Bolivia, Cambodia, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Indonesia, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, the Philippines, Solomon Islands, Tanzania, Viet Nam and Zambia. UN-REDD Programme countries not receiving direct support engage with the Programme through participation in regional workshops and knowledge sharing, facilitated by the Programme's interactive online workspace. They are also observers to the Programme's Policy Board.

During its fifth Policy Board meeting in Washington, D.C. from 4th to 5th November 2010, the UN-REDD Programme approved US$15.2 million in funding for national programmes in Cambodia, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, the Philippines and Solomon Islands. This means that to date, the UN-REDD Programme's Policy Board has approved a total of US$51.4 million for its 12 pilot countries. These funds help to support the development and implementation of national REDD+ strategies.

Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Christiana Figueres, said climate aid is the "golden key" to progress in Cancun, and it is anticipated that REDD funding will thus push the negotiating process.

Other multilateral REDD+ initiatives include the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) and Forest Investment Program (FIP), hosted by The World Bank.

Forest Day 4 will be held in Cancun on the 5th December, and will focus solely on forest related issues. This will be hosted by the Government of Mexico, through the National Forestry Commission, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) and the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

Author: Marianna Keen | Climate Action

Image: Find Your Feet/ Flickr