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Reddy for REDD? The mechanism for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation

Reddy for REDD?  The mechanism for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation

Reducing deforestation and land degradation, and improving forest cover and conditions, are vital issues for both climate mitigation and adaptation.  Forests constitute resources and carbon stocks so valuable they must be saved. The problem is that forest benefits cannot be expressed in economic or carbon terms alone, forests also deliver countless intangible benefits to both bio-diversity, communities and humankind (like sequestering CO2 from the atmosphere). Deforestation rates, or the potential to ‘reduce’ emission, are not the not the same in all regions in the world. Leading to what is called perverse incentives_ under REDD countries will be rewarded for improper management while countries with past adequate systems or low deforestation rates will not or receive less benefits from such a scheme. Secondly rewarding only those countries could lead to leakage, while protecting one area (paying for its reduced deforestation rates) the deforestation will continue elsewhere.  The causal drivers of deforestation are not addressed.

With no observable decline in the rate of deforestation, 15% of current annual emissions resulting from deforestation, approximately 1.6 billion _equivalent to 25% of the global population_ depending on forests, 2 billion people using biomass for daily heating and cooking, it seems vital considerable progress, on a constructive agreement, on the protection and proper management of these natural resources has to be made.

The draft text proposed by the EU delegation in the negotiations in Copenhagen seek to reduce emissions and increase removals by halting and reversing forest cover and carbon loss from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries by 2030. This reversal cannot occur … unless developing countries compensate developing countries in their undertaking, which again will require non-annex 1 countries to provide transparency and show funds are reinvested in protection and sustainable forest management.

The draft also present options which are less ambitious « all Parties shall collectively aim to reduce emission and increase removals by halting and reversing in forest cover and carbon loss in developing countries”  and does not  state much more  than aiming to reduce emissions by 2030, without stating how.

The document is full of options, negotiators stayed up till 6:00am, meaning there is a draft proposal with some options open for the delegated ministers to come to an agreement on Friday the 18th of December, end of this week.

Positively the text does look at REDD+; a scheme which would include incentives to increase forest carbon stocks and the option to sustainable harvest forest resources. Such a scheme would ideally be coupled with certification, with a wider support for improved forest management as strategy to reduce emission reductions.  Logging is inevitable, now it is our task to find a way to do it sustainable.

A short overview of the text:


  • Integrated into national mitigation strategies (low emission strategy)
  • Promotes the sustainable management of forests
  • REDD will be country based
  • Set-up to facilitate sustainable development, to reduce poverty and to respond to climate change in developing countries


  • Transparent and effective governance structures and support mechanisms
  • Addresses non-permanence or prove additionally (option to be selected)
  • Safeguards on the conversion of natural forests, and to enhance other social and environmental benefits
  • Non-annex 1 countries should undertake necessary actions to reduce leakage [as much as possible]

Developing countries should contribute to mitigation actions in the forest sector by undertaking the following activities

  • Reducing emissions from deforestation
  • Reducing emissions from forest degradation
  • Conservation of carbon stock
  • Sustainable management of forest
  • Enhancement of forest carbon stocks

To be continued…

The REDD+ scheme may turn out to be the most significant achievement to come out of the COP in Copenhagen.

Mathieu VAN RIJN for GERES

2 comments to Reddy for REDD?

  • Gaël B

    Good job!
    Thanks to the team for your articles, thanks for sharing the news on site (Clim’Actu rocks!), and thanks for your motivation together with the other NGOs!!

    Ces deux semaines s’achèvent sur…. pas grand chose pour l’instant… à suivre ce soir!

    En tout cas, merci pour vos articles, merci d’avoir partagé le vécu sur place (Clim’Actu -> TOP!) et merci d’être allé secouer le cocotier politique avec les autres ONG!
    Bon boulot!


  • Marybelle Schlink

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