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REDD+ text for saving forests released in Durban

An initial draft text on REDD+ — a proposed mechanism to compensate tropical countries for reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation — has moved forward for discussion and approval at climate talks in Durban.

CIFOR, a forest policy and research institute, called the text “robust” but warned that it currently falls short on monitoring and verification.

“It looks like there is a fairly comprehensive approach to reporting on safeguards and carbon emissions but it does not address what will be required for verification of these systems,” Louis Verchot, CIFOR’s leading climate change scientist, was quoted as saying in a blog post.

“Until these sort of things are worked out, without knowing who will be accountable and how are they going to be held accountable, there may be reticence to put money on the table for REDD+.”

Text laying out financing for REDD+ is expected to emerge shortly from the Long-term Cooperative Action body (LCA).

Deforestation in Indonesian Borneo
Deforestation in Indonesian Borneo

The draft REDD+ text calls for social safeguards and inclusion of indigenous people, a point CIFOR called a “strength” of the document.

“They are proposing that countries have to demonstrate effective participation of relevant stakeholders, in particular indigenous peoples and local communities. Countries would have to show how they have done this by, for example, presenting meeting reports to prove that there have been consultations,” said Verchot.

But CIFOR cautioned that the text “does not set any standards for achievement of the safeguards and how to address underperformance.”

“If, for example, a country makes a decision that is contrary to what the indigenous people are asking for, there is no clear indication of how repercussions will be handled or how decisions around that will be made,” said Verchot.

“What has been put forward here are standards for reporting, not standards for performance, and we need to see decisions on performance standards to move forward with REDD+.”

For more on the latest REDD+ developments, see CIFOR’s blog.

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