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Archive for December, 2008

Moving Ahead with REDD: issues, options and implications A Angelson (editor), Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Bogor, Indonesia, 2008.

cifor bookThis CIFOR publication discusses questions relevant to creating mechanisms that fully exploit the potential of REDD and their implications for the design of global REDD architecture.

Chapter 11 by David Brown, Frances Seymour and Leo Peskett addresses achieving REDD co-benefits without doing harm. It focuses on social co-benefits associated with pro-poor development; protection of human rights and improvement in forest governance; and environmental co-benefits, particularly enhanced biodiversity protection and soil and water quality and availability.

The chapter considers the extent to which the various REDD design options which are addressed in previous chapters can be made compatible with desired co-benefits, and avoid doing harm. Accordingly, for each of the three sets of co-benefits, the chapter summarises opportunities and challenges of direct relevance to negotiations on the global architecture of an agreement on REDD; and implications for REDD implementation at the national level and below.

Any REDD-induced changes in national-level forest governance are likely to have major effects on the well-being of forest-dependent populations, including indigenous peoples.” – Chapter 11, Moving ahead with REDD: Issues, options and implications

Section 2.5.3 addresses Equity and co-benefits. Most REDD proposals include non-climate objectives related to the distribution of benefits and costs, livelihoods/poverty reduction, protection of rights, and/or biodiversity. The equity considerations have several dimensions, including fair distribution of benefits between and within countries and the effects of REDD activities on local and indigenous communities. Criteria for assessing co-benefits include economic development and poverty reduction, biodiversity, rights and forest governance.

Download the 156 page book Moving Ahead with REDD: issues, options and implications [pdf]…

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REDD Myths: A critical review of proposed mechanisms to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation in developing countries Friends of the Earth International, Issue 114, December 2008

redd mythsFriends of the Earth International (FOE), an environmental activist group, announced its opposition to REDD via a report titled REDD Myths released at the UNFCCC talks in Poznan.

The report highlights three main areas of concern:

  • Land Rights: Giving forests a market value is likely to lead to an increase in state and corporate control of forests. Because there is currently little global and national recognition of customary and territory rights, this will make Indigenous Peoples and forest-dependent communities vulnerable to losing their land. Injecting money through the same channels that are currently responsible for illegal deforestation could reinforce corruption.
  • Offsetting: Forest carbon trading is inherently flawed because it does not mitigate emissions. Emissions theoretically saved by reducing deforestation would simply be used to sanction the use of fossil fuels elsewhere. This carbon offsetting will undermine current and future emissions reductions agreed by industrialised countries.
  • Plantations: Under the current proposals, plantations could be defined as forests — so REDD funding could be used to replace forests with large monoculture plantations. At best plantations only store 20 per cent of the carbon of intact forests. Replacing forests with plantations has devastating environmental consequences as well as social and economic impacts on forest-communities.

“Indigenous Peoples and forest-dependent communities may also find it hard to benefit from REDD even if they actively wish to participate in REDD projects. Firstly, if they are not engaged in unsustainable deforestation they may not qualify for REDD incentives. Secondly, they may be disadvantaged by uncertainties or conflicts over land tenure (and these conflicts are even less likely to be resolved in their favour if forests increase in value). Thirdly, because of the uncertainties associated with deforestation projects (because of storms or forest fires, for example) project managers are likely to find themselves saddled with the projects’ risks and liabilities. They may also find themselves responsible for finding upfront funding and operational costs to tide them over until they are paid at the end of the project period. Either way, larger and richer organisations operating to economies of scale can deal with these difficulties much more easily, than Indigenous Peoples and local communities, who may therefore find themselves in a poor negotiating position right from the start. They may also have to address language barriers and hire or find assistance to deal with the technical complexities involved in establishing, monitoring and verifying REDD projects.” – Extract from REDD Myths

Download the 44-page FOE report REDD Myths [pdf]… Also available in Spanish and French.

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An overview of selected REDD proposals, Kate Dooley with contributions from Iola Leal and Saskia Ozinga, FERN, November 2008

redd overviewThis report describes the different country proposals on the table to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) in the lead up to a forest climate agreement to be agreed by the UNFCCC in December 2009. It looks at whether or not these proposals look beyond carbon values in forests and respect local peoples’ rights.

“The choice of funding mechanism has implications for the resultant policy architecture, and the impact this will have on the rights of local and indigenous communities, as well as the ultimate effectiveness of the mechanism in contributing to a reduction in global emissions. If positive incentives are given essentially in exchange for certified emission reduction (CER) certificates, then very high levels of accuracy in measuring and accounting forest carbon stocks (as well as consistency between participating nations) will be required. This in turn will require increased technical capacity in many developing countries – a huge resource investment to measure carbon – which may be better invested in activities such as securing land tenure for forest peoples and developing capacity amongst forest agencies to enforce existing forest policy. If emission reductions are not truly additional, or if deforestation is merely displaced from one area to another (leakage), then the danger is that ‘the atmosphere witnesses the emissions from the activity that was seeking the offset, plus the emissions from the leaked deforestation. Subsequently the atmosphere is worse off.” – Chapter on Key Design Issues in REDD Proposals

Download An overview of selected REDD proposals review [pdf]… Also available in French.

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