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Forest outcomes from Copenhagen

The expectation that the Copenhagen climate change summit might agree a new international treaty on climate change was not fulfilled when the meeting finished with a weak voluntary agreement. This agreement, known as the Copenhagen Accord, does however contain references to what might be done to combat deforestation and does commit nations to providing finance for this purpose.

The main reference to forest related action says:

‘We recognize the crucial role of reducing emission from deforestation and forest degradation and the need to enhance removals of greenhouse gas emission by forests and agree on the need to provide positive incentives to such actions through the immediate establishment of a mechanism including REDD-plus (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation), to enable the mobilization of financial resources from developed countries.’

This is a substantial shift in policy towards protecting forests - most governments assumed that very little finance would be made available for forests until the market mechanism came into operation post 2012. However The International Working Group (a group set up following the meeting convened by The Prince of Wales in April 2009) issued a report in September 2009 which described a consensus on the need to provide substantial and immediate interim finance to rainforest nations. Subsequently, six nations (US, UK, Norway, France, Japan, Australia) pledged $3.5billion to support immediate REDD-plus activity between 2010-2012. The arrangements for this funding are being discussed during the first half of 2010, with the hope that an agreement can be reached in advance of the June UNFCCC meetings in Bonn.

The Prince's Rainforests Project continues to assist in the consensus building process that will lead to this interim finance for the rainforest nations being available this year. In addition we are working with the agricultural sector in rainforest nations in order to encourage appropriate finance to farmers so that real behavioural change can occur.

You can see the full text (three pages) of the Copenhagen Accord at http://unfccc.int/files/meetings/cop_15/application/pdf/cop15_cph_auv.pdf

Source : http://www.rainforestsos.org

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