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Dear Readers,

In one month's time, political leaders and experts from across the globe will gather in Rio de Janeiro to re-energize a conversation about sustainable development that was at the heart of the first "Earth Summit" exactly 20 years ago in that very city. It is hoped that the Rio+20 Earth Summit will produce a political agreement on how to achieve meaningful sustainable development moving forward. Below is an excerpt from the soon-to-be-released editorial I recently wrote for the Rio+20 edition of Climate Change The New Economy magazine. In this article, I lay out some of the reasons why leaders and experts at Rio+20 must keep forests, and strategies such as REDD+, central in their discussions and future action plans for sustainable development.

Excerpt from "REDD+ Lessons for Sustainable Development" article by Yemi Katerere:

"The results and lessons that have emerged so far in REDD+ readiness and early implementation can provide valuable inputs into several dimensions of the sustainable development discussions at Rio+20. Firstly, enacting both REDD+ and sustainable development policies are political processes that require the development of enabling conditions, including a cross-sectoral approach that coordinates efforts within governments as well as between the public and private sectors. This coordination requires access to improved data about key sectors; national-level policy action led by governments that promotes harmonization with existing programmes, policies and laws; and coordination of international and multilateral programmes and funding sources. Weak capacity to plan and implement has emerged as a key challenge for REDD+. Moving forward, both REDD+ and sustainable development efforts will need to invest significantly in developing institutional capacities, and strategic partnerships that involve multiple state actors as well as the private sector.
REDD+ provides an opportunity to shift the development paradigm away from destructive uses of forests and towards the conservation of forests. Besides having benefits for climate change mitigation, this shift also has the potential to conserve forest biodiversity and ecosystem services such as water purification, soil retention and tourism, as well as reduce poverty and improve livelihoods of people living in and around forests. One pathway to meet these broader goals is a sustainable or "green economy" transition. Promoting such a transition means that countries develop in a manner that both reduces poverty and maintains and enhances the natural resource base. The development of REDD+ strategies provides an opportunity to promote efficiencies in natural resource management as well as catalyze a range of low carbon alternatives, approaches and technologies in a way that can contribute transformative investments in natural capital while also developing human and social capital.
Building on the valuable lessons emerging from REDD+, let us support world leaders to emerge from the upcoming Rio+20 conference with a renewed global commitment to sustainable development that recognizes the life-sustaining multiple benefits forests provide."

The full version of this article will appear in the upcoming edition of Climate Change The New Economy magazine, which will be released to G8 leaders and attendees of the 38th G8 Summit, 18-19 May 2012 in Maryland, USA, and delegates of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Rio de Janeiro on 20-22 June 2012.

Yemi Katerere
Head of the UN-REDD Programme Secretariat

In this issue


Unprecedented Cooperation Established on Anti-Corruption for REDD+ in Africa

South-South Exchange on REDD+ Governance Sets Up Unique Community of Practice

Update on UN-REDD's Work with Indigenous Peoples

Vacancy Announcement for UN-REDD Secretariat
Features & Commentary

Mexico Adopts Landmark REDD+ Legal Reforms
By: Francesca Felicani Robles, Andrés Avila Akerberg and Chris Stephens
Reports & Analysis

Committee on World Food Security Launches Groundbreaking Guidelines on Land Tenure

New Go-REDD+ Issue Explores Anti-Corruption Efforts in Forest Sector

Looking ahead

GEF Council 42
11-14 June, 2012: Washington, D.C, USA

United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20)
20-22 June, 2012: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) Participants Committee meeting
27-29 June, 2012: Santa Marta, Colombia

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