Reports & Analysis
REDD+ Hours in Nagoya: Fostering Dialogue Among the Rio Conventions
The UN-REDD Programme held five "REDD+ Hour" workshops during the Convention on Biological Diversity's (CBD) 10th Conference of the Parties in October, to explore a range of issues related to REDD+ and the multiple eco-system benefits of forests.
The growing interest in REDD+ among the CBD community was apparent during these "REDD+ Hours", which provided an opportunity to members to engage more intensively on REDD+ issues. Each workshop brought together more than 160 participants who engaged in stimulating and insightful discussions to explore the linkages between REDD+, the biodiversity agendas, and the potential development and conservation opportunities that have opened up as a result of REDD+. There was a clear recognition of the opportunities and some of the dangers that forest carbon finance might have on transforming forested landscapes.
|Ravi Prabhu (far right), from the UN-REDD Programme, moderated the discussions during the UN-REDD Programme's first "REDD+ Hour" workshop in Nagoya on 19 October.
The first REDD+ Hour focused on the inter-linkages of biodiversity, carbon and economics. The session concluded that forests deliver many more economic benefits than carbon and that these multiple benefits could eventually overshadow those from carbon. The workshop demonstrated how biodiversity underpins the ecological assurance of the permanence of forest carbon stocks. The session concluded that reversing drivers of deforestation and forest degradation has been demonstrated to be beneficial for economic development. There was consensus that REDD+ could be a catalyst to achieving economic and biodiversity benefits and participants recognized the importance of capacity building in this regard, with the help of coordinated support among the multilateral REDD+ initiatives, including the UN-REDD Programme.
The second REDD+ Hour dealt with the role of traditional knowledge and REDD+. This session clearly identified the importance of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) in assuring that the rights, interests and knowledge of Indigenous and local Peoples are assured and incorporated in national REDD+ strategies. The session highlighted the potential of cash incentives for forest carbon benefits to divide communities against each other and have undesirable effects on livelihoods and cultures, unless communities were given sufficient time to inform themselves and consult with each other. It was stressed that such processes should be adequately resourced and given adequate time.
The third installment of the REDD+ Hours focused on environmental safeguards and REDD+. While there was clear consensus on the need for safeguards, there was an equally firm consensus that safeguards must not constrain or overburden an agreement on REDD+, as REDD+ is itself one of the most important safeguards for forests and related ecosystem services. The point was made however, that while conservation of biodiversity is a safeguard for forests and consequently for forest carbon, the reverse was not necessarily true. With respect to existing voluntary standards, it was stated that as of today, none of them on their own were adequate to act as environmental safeguards for REDD+. The session also stressed the important role of local people and the private sector in delivering on safeguards either through change of behavior or in the kinds of investments that are made.
The fourth REDD+ Hour, established a clear, positive correlation between biological diversity and forest carbon. It demonstrated that there are methods available to monitor biodiversity and impacts of forest management decisions. The session also noted that the purpose of the monitoring determines the methodology and associated cost of biodiversity and ecosystem services monitoring. In other words, it is important to ensure that monitoring caters to a known and well-articulated demand.
The fifth REDD+ Hour stressed the importance of connecting key national focal points, especially those for REDD+ and biodiversity, to each other so that they can share information and tools. It was noted that CBD focal points have information that could be valuable to REDD+ processes, such as results from biodiversity gap analyses and monitoring. It was concluded that clarifying roles and responsibilities as early as possible is essential and that many consultation processes on forest stewardship are on-going and REDD+ discussions can piggy-back on these. It was noted that there are existing spatial planning tools that are available for land-planning and REDD+ processes.