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During the 20th session of the FAO Committee on Forestry (COFO), the UN-REDD Programme participated in information events on REDD+ and forest monitoring, briefing delegates on the latest REDD+ developments from around the world.

The 20th session of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Committee on Forestry gathered 116 countries at FAO headquarters in Rome from 4 - 8 October 2010 to discuss topics related mainly to the role of forests in sustainable development, with an emphasis on climate change and its effect on forest fires, water resources and biological diversity and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+).

Participants listen to presentations at the information event entitled “The current status of REDD+: national and international developments” that took place on 5 October at COFO in Rome.
Credit: Reem Ismail

One of the various information events entitled “The current status of REDD+: national and international developments” took place on 5 October, focusing on new developments in the REDD+ arena, opportunities for REDD+ financing as well as lessons learned from the implementation of activities and plans for future national strategies.

Stressing that REDD+ isn’t limited to forests alone, Peter Holmgren, FAO Director of the Climate, Energy and Land Tenure Division, speaking at the information event, gave an overview of the developments of REDD+ highlighting the increasing demand for this global service. He pointed out that REDD+ is a cross-cutting issue that addresses three major global challenges: climate change, biodiversity, and food security.

During the same session, Juan Manuel Torres Rojo, Director- General of the National Forest Commission (CONAFOR), Government of Mexico, presented the main pillars of Mexico’s national REDD+ strategy. The ENAREDD+ strategy includes:

  • The development of a strategic vision for sustainable land management for REDD+
  • Pilot activities that promote sustainable land management in communities through participatory planning approaches
  • Capacity building to monitor forest cover changes and carbon links at the national and local levels
  • Enhanced coordination among government agencies at both federal and state levels

Agus Sarsito, the Director of International Cooperation from the Ministry of Forestry of Indonesia also provided a status of REDD+ in Indonesia stressing how this country is currently applying a phased approach to REDD+, and work with bilateral and multilateral partners, such as the UN-REDD Programme, are currently underway.

Tiina Vahanen, Senior Officer from the UN-REDD Programme, presented the opportunities that REDD+ financing is offering the forest sector as the REDD+ Partnership, established last May 2010, scales-up its funding for REDD+ activities. She emphasized that the scale of financing for REDD+ is significantly larger than conventional international forest financing and that REDD+ is a significant mitigation opportunity, to which the “forestry community” has a lot to offer with existing tools and approaches.

Emerging Initiatives on Forest Finance
In a parallel plenary session at COFO, delegates discussed new developments on forest finance. Yemi Katerere, Head of the UN-REDD Programme Secretariat, along with panelists from the Global Environment Facility, World Bank, Global Mechanism of the UNCCD, UNFF and Canada made presentations on current work programmes and financing targeted for forestry, and in particular on REDD+, forestry management and conservation, capacity development and reforms, investments, and forest landscape restoration. Panelists highlighted, among other things, the need to collaborate and closely coordinate these efforts to maximize the potential for financing forest activities to mitigate climate change.

At a special session on REDD+ at FAO's COFO event, Tiina Vahanen, Senior Officer from the UN-REDD Programme, presented the opportunities that REDD+ financing is offering the forest sector.
Credit: Reem Ismail

A second information event also informed delegates about the status of the Global Remote Sensing Survey of Forests which is part of the FAO Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010 (FRA 2010) launched during COFO. The Surveyof Forests is aimed at improving knowledge on land-use change dynamics over time, including deforestation, afforestation and natural expansion of forests.

Adam Gerrand, FRA Remote Sensing Survey Coordinator, gave an overview of the survey providing an update of the work already carried out. Some 75 per cent of the world has been covered so far as the validation of information on land cover and land-use is still under way. The methods applied and the work developed with countries was presented by Remi D’Annunzio, also from the FAO Remote Sensing Survey Team. Two country delegates (Greg Reams, from the US Forest Service and Carlos Bahamondez, from the Chilean Forestry Institute, INFOR) provided their insights on participating in the survey and the possible linkages between the survey and the national level.

To download presentations made at the information events, please click on the links below:

For more information on the 20th Session of COFO please click here.

In this issue


New Carbon Maps Contribute to Wider Conservation

UN-REDD-INPE Training on National Forest Monitoring Systems

2 New Countries Join the UN-REDD Programme

New Info on Multiple Benefits for REDD+

REDD+ Partnership Launches New Website
Features & Commentary

Paraguay's National Programme for REDD+ By: Santiago Carrizosa

Biodiversity Benefits of REDD+ Elifuraha Isaya Laltaika
Reports & Analysis

UN-REDD FPIC Workshop in Panama

Looking ahead

FCPF Participants Committee Meeting
1 - 3 November 2010, Washington, D.C., USA

UN-REDD Programme 5th Policy Board Meeting
4-5 November 2010, Washington, D.C., USA

FIP Sub-Committee Meeting
8 November 2010, Washington, D.C., USA

14th International Anti-Corruption Conference
10-13 November 2010, Bangkok, Thailand

UN-REDD/Chatham House Monitoring Governance Workshop
18-19 November 2010, Rome, Italy

29 Nov- 10 Dec 2010, Cancun, Mexico

Forest Day 4, "After Copenhagen: Maintaining the Momentum"
5 December 2010, Cancun, Mexico
For more information and registration click here
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