Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation

REDD+ is part of the solution to climate change since it reduces forest loss. It is an international mechanism under the United NationĀ“s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to provide incentives to developing countries to protect and restore carbon stocks found in forest ecosystems.

REDD+ seeks to put a value on standing forests through economic incentives to offset the opportunity costs of any activity, for example, the financial profitability of alternative land uses.

The plus sign (+) in REDD+ means that it goes beyond the activities to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation, even more important for activities like paper production: the conservation of forest carbon stocks, sustainable management of forests and restoring degraded lands and expanding forest cover.

These additional activities allow REDD+ to be a broader, socially and environmentally fair strategy.

How does it work?

A developing country must make a commitment to reduce their emissions from deforestation. This commitment results in actions that are measured, reported and verified (MRV) through a monitoring process; if the country meets its target it will receive a financial incentive from a fund or directly from a developed country.

Way of financing

The REDD+ mechanism can be funded through two main options. The developing countries could receive funds from countries or through a market which implies the sale of carbon credits to companies that want to reduce or offset their emissions. These modalities are still under discussion and what currently exists are the so called voluntary markets that pay sub-national REDD+ projects and pilot preparation funds are borne by the developing countries in cooperation with multilateral organizations like the World Bank or the United Nations together.

Multiple benefits

The REDD + initiative that keeps forests standing offers, in addition to carbon mitigation (climate change mitigation) a wide range of benefits such as biodiversity, cultural value, etc. REDD+ is seen as a successful solution because it also contributes to support livelihoods locally, maintain environmental services, and at the same time combat climate change.

Locally, REDD + will lead to greater social benefits for forest-dependent communities and other local stakeholders. These social benefits are numerous, such as creating jobs, improving life quality, land tenure, recognizing the rights of indigenous people, compensating carbon payments, knowledge transferring and increasing participation and decision-making.

At regional and global level, the impact of REDD + in conserving large tracts of forests can be highly significant as it could contribute to maintaining and enhancing millions of km2 of tropical forests and, therefore, all the added benefits mentioned above.