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The United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Event on REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation)

23 September 2009, 4:30pm- 6:00pm
United Nations Headquarters, ECOSOC Chamber

Deforestation and the degradation of forests are responsible for just under one-fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than all the world’s cars, trucks, ships and planes combined. In addition to storing over one trillion tons of the world’s carbon, forests provide for human needs: they purify water, protect soils, prevent floods and droughts and are home to the majority of the world’s land based species - and they do it essentially for free.

Under the Kyoto Protocol, developing countries cannot receive credit for the benefits their forests provide to people and environment around the world and as major storehouses for carbon. As long as there are no rewards for maintaining forests for the local and global benefits that they provide, they will continue to be cut, burnt and degraded.

There is a need to change the perverse incentives that make forests worth more dead than alive. Clearly, rewards to reduce deforestation have to be part of the solution since this will allow forests to store vast amounts of carbon, provide the ecosystem services we all need and secure the livelihoods of some of the most vulnerable people in the world. Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) can make this possible.

REDD is a proposed mechanism to give a financial value to standing forests by mobilizing capital to compensate developing countries for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and therefore help prevent dangerous climate change.

About the event

The event REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation): The United Nations Secretary-General’s High Level Event, was held on the occasion of the 64th United Nations General Assembly and was broadcast live on www.un.org/webcast.

The panel included UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; Australia’s Prime Minister Kevin Rudd; Bolivia President Evo Morales ; Denmark Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen; Guyana President Bharrat Jagdeo; Norway Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg; Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare; Republic of Congo President Denis Sassou-Nguesso; and United Kingdom Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

A closing press conference was held at 6:00pm at United Nations Headquarters in Room S-226.

Opportunities for one-on-one interviews with experts and policy makers on REDD were available in the days prior to and immediately following the event. Interested media should contact sniffenj@un.org and Stanislav.saling@undp.org for more information.

Please follow this link to view other events.

Key documents
Agenda-setter film

Sponsored by the UN-REDD Programme

Produced by TVE

News clippings

Climate Change Proposal Would Revolutionize Value of Forests
CNN, 28th Sep 2009

Paying to Save Trees
The Economist, Sep 26th 2009

A Plan to Save Rainforests Gains International Momentum
New York Times, 25th Sep 2009

Heads of State Pledge to Take Action on REDD
Climate L, 24th Sep 2009

UN SG Calls for Immediate Action on Reducing Deforestation
UN News Centre, 24th Sep 2009

World Leaders can Take Their Cue from Indonesia
The Jakarta Post, 24th Sep 2009

UN SG Emphasizes Protection of Forests as Part of Copenhagen Deal
UN News Centre, 24th Sep 2009

China Announces Intention to Increase Forest Coverage by 40 Million Ha
Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Negara Brunel Darussalam, 24th Sep 2009