I have been receiving a fair few questions of late about REDD and decided a blog entry was in order to answer many of the basic questions about the program and what it stands for. This article is only going to serve as a basic introduction to the UN-REDD program and REDD+, I will go into more detail in a future post.
“The UN-REDD Programme is the United Nations Collaborative initiative on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) in developing countries. The Programme was launched in September 2008 to assist developing countries prepare and implement national REDD+ strategies, and builds on the convening power and expertise of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).”
Excerpt from the UN-REDD Programme website
Deforestation and forest degradation are listed separately from one another so it is important that we know what we mean by the two terms and why they are indeed different from one another. Deforestation is the permanent removal of trees from an area and the removal of that land from forest use, whereas forest degradation is caused through activities that limit the forests overall productivity. Agricultural expansion, conversion to pastureland, infrastructure development, destructive logging, fires etc., are all examples of activities that are causing deforestation and degradation with the result being nearly 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions being produced. 20% is more than the entire global transport sectors emission and is only seconded by the energy sector. Due to the large volume of greenhouse gasses being produced by deforestation and degradation it is impossible to start addressing global greenhouse gases without reducing the forest sectors output. REDD+ is the current answer to this problem by attempting to offer a financial incentive for the carbon locked away in forests as well as trying to encourage developing nations in particular to reduce emissions from their forests and focus on sustainable development. REDD+ also encourages nations financially to improve their forest lands through sustainable management and increasing forest areas.
REDD+ has the potential through the cutting of greenhouse gases to supply developing nations with up to $30 billion per year which can then be put into developing that nations infrastructure and making it a more sustainable economy where being greener and focussing on the sustainable management of their forests is the ticket to financial stability rather than having to pillage their own natural resources for a lesser reward.
The [UN-REDD] Programme currently supports 42 partner countries spanning Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America, of which 14 are receiving support to National Programme activities. These 14 countries are: Bolivia, Cambodia, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ecuador, Indonesia, Nigeria, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, the Philippines, Solomon Islands, Tanzania, Viet Nam and Zambia. To-date, the UN-REDD Programme’s Policy Board has approved a total of US$59.3 million for National Programmes in these 14 partner countries. These funds help to support the development and implementation of national REDD+ strategies.
What is the difference between REDD+ and the UN-REDD Programme?
REDD+ is a climate change mitigation solution that many initiatives, including the UN-REDD Programme, are currently developing and supporting. Other multilateral REDD+ initiatives include the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility(FCPF) and Forest Investment Program (FIP), hosted by The World Bank.
As you can see this topic is one that increases the questions you might have as you begin to explain it which is why I am leaving this article here as a basic introduction. I will go into more detail in a later post.