The potential to mitigate global carbon emissions through the management and protection of forests and woodlands is huge. Forests cover about 30% of the global land area, store 45% of the terrestrial biosphere's carbon and more than 1.6 billion people, including a significant numbers of the world's poor, rely on them for their livelihood. Yet, forests are being degraded and destroyed at an alarming rate. The largest losses are observed in tropical forests of the developing world. Between 2000 and 2005, roughly 13 million hectares of forest disappeared annually. REDD+ is an attempt to provide a policy framework addressing this crisis.
While the need to reduce global deforestation and forest degradation is urgent, addressing this need poses numerous challenges. These stem from the complexity of the problem itself, the different national circumstances and the multiple drivers of deforestation and forest degradation. The failure to reach an agreement on REDD+ at Copenhagen exemplifies this. To stimulate innovative thinking for reaching a global consensus on REDD+, cross-fertilisation and the breakdown of disciplinary barriers is needed. To do so, platforms aiming at engaging actors with diverse interests and perspectives are needed.
The Commonwealth Forestry Conference, which brings researchers, business leaders, and policy makers in one single location provides such a platform. I therefore propose to capitalise on this to facilitate discussions and collaborations on REDD+ across institutions and disciplines. The aim of the day will be to summarise, explore and stimulate innovative thinking by building on available expertise, resources, networks, and technologies. The focus will be on delivering REDD+ now. To achieve this aim, the day will be structured as follows:
In this session, various country perspectives will be given including those from Norway, the leading nation in this field;
In this session, REDD+ is discussed from thematic perspectives. The session is divided into two parts. The first entails thematic presentations mirroring key REDD+ challenges:
The two morning sessions will lead to an afternoon of working groups (divided into the four themes introduced above). Based on the morning sessions and the thematic discussions, the working groups will be tasked to draft recommendations for the delivery of a policy brief: Delivering REDD+ at Cancun.
|Dr. Genevieve Patenaude |
Lecturer, Forests and Carbon Management
School of GeoSciences
University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh EH8 9XP
Tel: 0131 651 4472
This article was published on Sep 1, 2010