Reduced Emissions in Deforestation and Degradation

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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.

REDD Benefits:

Capacity building opportunities for local communities

Poverty alleviation

Greater financial flow into developing countries

Restoration and rehabilitation of degraded forests

Sustaining/ preserving ecosystem service

Biodiversity conservation

Watershed protection and soil conservation

REDD objective:

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”











7 Responses to “Reduced Emissions in Deforestation and Degradation”

  1. ukraine

  2. Uberi

    Agus Sari from the Indonesian delegation and CEO of Sustainable Conservation discusses forestry, REDD and related issues. He explores the developing countries concerns over the safeguards currently proposed over financing and alludes to the responsibilities of industrially developed counties.

  3. urika

    GOSAT was the first successfully-launched sensor dedicated to measure CO2 in the lower troposphere. Initial data are promising and improvements are still being made. OCO-2, a near exact copy of OCO, is scheduled for launch in 2013, and several European concepts are being considered that will provide the necessary sensitivity to CO2 near the surface. They will let us estimate carbon release and uptake over areas smaller than a continent and at weekly or monthly timescales.

  4. illione

    Download a pdf on planning an inclusive REDD program

    Mesoamerica has the opportunity to play a leading role internationally in the design and operation of an inclusive REDD+ scheme that addresses the underlying causes of deforestation and degradation, and especially, that strategically integrates the role of indigenous peoples and forestry communities.

  5. eugenia

    Vietnam and the world will benefit with REDD

  6. Emili

    THE REDD-plus policy is an approach aimed at reducing the 20 per cent of emissions related to forests through financial incentives.

    The REDD (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation)-plus concept links financial incentives to forest conservation, sustainable management, and enhancing and increasing carbon stocks for credits for carbon emissions avoided and/ or carbon sequestered.

    For years, Fiji’s forests have been a source for financial and economic gain through agriculture, logging and land development.

    As a result, a large portion of the country’s 1.1 million hectares of forest cover are now tracts of degraded and unutilised land.

    The Government recognises the REDD-plus policy as an opportunity to contribute towards the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, strengthen the socioeconomic status of its forest resource owners and protect its forest’s eco-systems.

    After extensive consultations with landowners, local and international experts, and stakeholders as well as the incorporation of relevant resolutions and recommendations, the policy was finalised in July, 2010.

    On December 7, 2010, Cabinet endorsed the Fiji National REDD-plus policy which is a first for the region and is now awaiting the first draft of the REDD-plus policy strategy which will be finalised by stakeholders by mid-2011.

    Fiji is taking a phased approach in its implementation of the REDD-plus policy.

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