REDD[Reduction in De forestation and degradation]is an UN initiative to create a financial value for the carbon stored in forests, offering incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions and invest in low-carbon technologies to sustainable development. This mechanism of flow of funds from developed to developing countries could lead to reduction of carbon emissions and could also help in conserving the depleting biodiversity.
Deforestation and Degradation:
Around the world, forests are being destroyed at a rate of about thirteen million hectares a year and deforestation accounts for an estimated 17 – 20% of all global emissions.
Global deforestation was estimated at 13 million ha/yr for 1990-2005 (FAO 2005) Deforestation and forest degradation result in substantial reductions in forest carbon stocks and increase in emissions.
IPCC WG1 estimated emissions from deforestation since 1990s at 5.8 GtCO2/ yr.
Rainforests provide a wide variety of ecosystems services, from regulating rainfall to purifying groundwater and keeping fertile soil from eroding; deforestation in one area can seriously damage food production and access to clean water for an entire region.
Deforestation World Map:
Forests and other terrestrial carbon sinks play a vital role in preventing runaway climate change, soaking up a full 2.6 Gt of atmospheric carbon every year. The destruction of forests, therefore, not only emits carbon – a staggering 1.6 Gt a year, which severely impairs forests’ capacity to absorb emissions from other sources – but also drastically reduces the amount of forested land available to act as a carbon sink in the future.
Rainforests are also a home and source of income for a huge number of people in Africa, Asia, and South America. Despite this, economic pressures frequently drive both local communities and national governments in the developing world to exploit these forests in ways that are unsustainable, clear-cutting vast areas for fuel, timber, mining, or agricultural land.
Another serious problem is forest degradation. This occurs when the structure or function of a forest is negatively affected by external factors such as fire, pests or pruning for firewood thereby reducing the forests ability to provide the services and products. Forest degradation is also a huge source of CO2 emissions.
Main causes for forest degradation:
They are broadly classified into three main sources, they are Gathering fuel wood – Collecting the woods by individuals for local use and for commercial use in the urban areas directly as charcoals, Timber harvesting and Fire.
Some of the methods to combat degradation include, reduced impact logging, integrated fire management, improved forest governance, fuel wood management and forest certification
REDD Major Players:
The REDD activities are under taken by some NGO’s, private sectors, national or local governments or any combination of these. The genuine actors of REDD, however, will be the populations whose livelihoods derive from forests.
REDD is pushed strongly by the World Bank and the United Nations for setting up the bases for the carbon market and the legal and governance frameworks of countries receiving REDD. The World Banks Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, the UN-REDD Programme, and Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative are such e.g.
Indigenous Peoples and forest-dependent communities will be the front liners of REDD, and the success of REDD activities will largely depend on their engagement.
UNFCCC Discussions on REDD
REDD was first discussed under the UNFCCC in 2005 at the eleventh Conference of the Parties (COP 11). Consideration of the issue has continued since that time. As well as discussions at the yearly COP and at biannual meetings of the Subsidiary Bodies, several UNFCCC workshops have been held: one in Rome, Italy in August 2006, another in Cairns, Australia in March 2007 and another in Tokyo, Japan in June 2008.
Key issues discussed have included:
• The causes of deforestation;
• Policy tools for REDD, including bilateral and multilateral cooperation;
• Ways to provide incentives for REDD, including financial mechanisms; and technical issues associated with measuring.
Capacity building opportunities for local communities
Greater financial flow into developing countries
Restoration and rehabilitation of degraded forests
Sustaining/ preserving ecosystem service
Watershed protection and soil conservation
It is a multi path way process and all the objectives are interrelated to each other.
Establishment of protected areas
Strict and effective implementation of forest laws
Use of agro forestry, reduced impact logging
Incentives to the land owners to not cut down trees or degrade forest
Country wise specific information on REDD:
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation in Developing Countries in a Post 2012 Climate Regime
Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and International Forest Carbon Initiative [IFCI]
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries
“Preparing Guyana’s REDD+ participation: Developing capacities for monitoring, reporting and verification”