Reducing Emissions from forest Degradation and Deforestation (REDD) is a policy measure for mitigating climate change caused by loss of carbon in forest ecosystems. It uses a carbon emissions-offsetting structure that places an economic value on the safeguarding of forest carbon stocks and provides an incentive for investment in sustainabiity.
At the UNFCCC conference in Poznan, Poland, negotiators reached a consensus that REDD activities should be broadened. The original two aims were to:
- Reduce emissions from deforestation
- Reduce emissions from forest degradation
The 3 new strategies for reducing emissions included in REDD are:
- The role of conservation
- Sustainable management of forests
- Enhancement of Forest Carbon Stocks
Within the UNFCCC, the design of REDD+ is almost complete, although several components are still under discussion (2012). Outside of UNFCCC, many REDD+ projects have emerged with host countries and donor backing (Backgrounder document on REDD+).
The REDD+ Partnership
The REDD+ Partnership is "a global platform for organizing action in order to enable effective, transparent and coordinated fast action on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries." (reddpluspartnership.org)
As an interim measure the REDD+ partnership is an arrangement between Annex 1 (developed) and non-Annex 1 (developing) countries to work on REDD+. The countries see this as essential in preparation for the expected inclusion of REDD+ in a future UNFCCC climate change agreement.
It currently has 75 member governments working on REDD+ design and implementation (full details of participating countires are available through the link given below).
The UNFCCC encouraged the nations to coordinate their efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. Countries attending the International Conference on Major Forest Basins, hosted by the Government of France in May 2010, agreed on the need to forge a strong international partnership on REDD+. The outcome was named the REDD+ Partnership. The partnership was launched during the Oslo climate and forest conference hosted by Norway in May 2010. Around USD 4,0 billion were pledged for the period 2010–2012 for developing capacity for REDD preparation.
Secretariat services are provided by the UN-REDD programme and FCPF.
Australia, France, Japan, Norway, the UK, and US offered $3.5 billion funding package of REDD preparation. Outside of UNFCCC many donor country financing of REDD+ effects are emerging, and cooperative schemes including the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) and Forest Investment Program (FIP) are emerging. There is a small but growing voluntary market for emissions credits verified or certified under existing certification schemes such as the Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS) (Backgrounder on REDD+, 2012).
In the Durban UNFCCC climate negotiations, there appears to be some ambiguouity as to how REDD+ will fit into the new mechanisms being developed including the 'New Market Mechanism' and the 'Green Climate Fund' (Backgrounder on REDD+, 2012)