REDD faces challenges but can succeed, says report
December 5, 2008
The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), a forest policy think tank, today released its assessment on the proposed REDD (reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation) mechanism for slowing climate change.
The report, titled “Moving ahead with REDD: Issues, options and implications”, reviews the challenges facing REDD and makes policy recommendations to make the mechanism more agreeable to climate negotiators.
Among these include involving local people as beneficiaries of REDD projects; taking a ‘nested approach’ rather than a national approach to REDD implementation; incorporating degradation into REDD in order to include countries where deforestation may be low but degradation high; developing a protocol for ensuring that reductions in emissions are permanent; and establishing a strong and independent verification system to ensure that emission reductions are real.
“REDD… has the potential to achieve significant co-benefits, over and above reducing carbon emissions,” said Frances Seymour, CIFOR’s Director General. “These include alleviating poverty, improving governance, and protecting biodiversity and other environmental services. But a careful balance is needed: On the one hand, REDD should be designed to capture these co-benefits, and must include safeguards to ensure that it does no harm. On the other hand, if REDD is overloaded with technical requirements and legitimate non-climate considerations, the transaction costs of participation could be too high.”
Carbon credits for forest conservation concept faces challenges
But initiative could save forests and alleviate rural poverty November 27, 2007
While environmentalists, scientists, development exports, and policymakers across the political spectrum are enthusiastic about the idea of offsetting carbon emissions by preventing deforestation (a concept known as “avoided deforestation” or Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD)), the concept still faces many challenges, especially in implementation. Issues range from “permanence” (whether a county can ensure that forest carbon savings are permanent) to “leakage” (what happens when carbon conservation in one area drives deforestation in another?) to baseline data establishment (how does one measure historic deforestation to establish a baseline for calculating reduction?). Further questions over land rights (will REDD trigger a land rush by industrial agriculture giants and forestry firms?) as well as how local communities will benefit (the cost of registering and establishing a REDD project may top $50,000, a nearly insurmountable sum for communities and small-scale forest holders in some of the world’s poorest countries) are also valid. Still, with deforestation and land use change accounting for as much as 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions–more than the entire transportation sector–many agree that REDD will be an important part of a global climate change mitigation strategy. With its carbon-rich forests and peatlands, Indonesia is widely seen as having the best potential for REDD initiatives.
REDD will fail if needs of forest communities aren’t addressed December 7, 2007
New report argues that unless REDD mechanisms are properly designed, carbon credits-for-forest conservation schemes will not address key drivers of deforestation. Initiatives to reduce emissions by reducing tropical deforestation (REDD) will fail unless policymakers adequately address the underlying drivers of forest degradation and destruction, argues a new report published by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). The report, released at the United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP-13) climate meeting in Bali, says that while REDD holds a great deal of promise, success will require sufficient financial incentives to reverse the “political and economic realities” that cause deforestation.