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Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) in developing countries

REDD can deliver rapid emission reductions as a complement to mitigation in other sectors

Deforestation and forest degradation account for approximately 17% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In its Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), the IPCC concluded that ‘forestry can make a very significant contribution to a low cost global mitigation portfolio that provides synergies with adaptation and sustainable development’.

Further scientific research since the IPCC AR4 indicates an even greater urgency to reduce emissions in order to stabilise atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations at safe levels. Given the current rates of deforestation and ongoing forest degradation, IUCN sees the adoption of a carefully designed REDD regime within the post-2012 agreement as a necessary rather than a discretionary mitigation option, complementing ambitious mitigation measures in other sectors. REDD has the advantage that it could deliver urgently needed GHG reductions while other essential mitigation options come on stream. If properly designed, it can provide a bridging mechanism in the transition towards a low-carbon economy whilst increasing resilience and enhancing adaptive capacity to climate change; contributing to rural livelihoods; promoting good forest governance and delivering biodiversity objectives.

IUCN welcomes the broad support from Parties, at the UNFCCC Bonn-1 talks (29 March to 8 April 2009), that recognizes the value of incorporating Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) in the post- 2012 UN climate change regime, as a possible nationally appropriate mitigation action (NAMA) in developing countries and as a complement to ambitious targets for emissions mitigation in other sectors by developed country Parties.

IUCN welcomes the recognition of the need for adequate, predictable and sustainable finance to support the REDD mechanisms, including for capacity building.

IUCN also welcomes the consensus emerging on the need to address drivers of deforestation; the importance of financing REDD Readiness in implementing countries; the links between governance and an effective REDD framework; the need to preserve the rights of forest dependent communities, with particular attention to the interests of women; the role of forest degradation; the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.

IUCN further welcomes other “informal” processes established in support of the formal negotiations and encourages Parties to take note of their outcomes. These include the Collaborative Partnership on Forests’ (CPF), Strategic Framework on Forests and Climate Change1 which clearly outlines how forests, when sustainably managed, can play a positive role in climate change mitigation and adaptation. In addition, The Forests Dialogue (TFD), is currently bringing together forest leaders from the private sector, NGOs, Governments, Indigenous Peoples and forest communities to explore and facilitate consensus on “finance mechanisms for REDD”

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