Reports & Analysis
Rio+20 Opens New Opportunities for REDD+ as a Catalyst for a Green Economy
At last month's Rio+20 Earth Summit in Brazil, world leaders agreed to support REDD+ and produced an outcome document that provides guidance for REDD+ initiatives including the UN-REDD Programme.
The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), brought together more than 35,000 participants, including Heads of States and governments and produced a 53-page final outcome document, entitled "The Future We Want". In this document, governments renewed relevant political commitments that are guiding the activities of the UN-REDD Programme, including on climate change, biodiversity and land management (paragraphs 190-204 of the outcome document). Leaders also underscore the importance of supporting countries to develop green economy policies upon request (paragraphs 56-74), and strengthening and upgrading the United Nations Environment Programme (paragraph 88).
In relation to forests, Heads of States and other high-level representatives called for efforts to effectively slow, halt and reverse deforestation and forest degradation, and noted the importance of REDD+ (paragraphs 193-196). They committed to, "improving the livelihoods of people and communities by creating the conditions needed for them to sustainably manage forests, including through strengthening cooperation arrangements in the areas of finance, trade, transfer of environmentally sound technologies, capacity-building and governance, as well as by promoting secure land tenure, particularly decision-making and benefit-sharing, in accordance with national legislation and priorities," (paragraph 193).
Several countries used Rio+20 as a launch pad for national strategies and other pledges for transformations towards a green economy. The President of Indonesia, H.E. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, in a televised speech from Bogor, Indonesia, announced that by 2025 his country would not allow, "exploitation of resources that exceed its biological regenerative capacity," and he called for world leaders to, "renew their political commitment on developing a global green economy through sustainable development and poverty eradication."
In the coming months, the UN system will support the development of sustainable development goals beyond 2015, and the UN-REDD Programme will have an opportunity to contribute to this process, which will be organized as, "an inclusive and transparent intergovernmental process… that is open to all stakeholders, with a view to developing global sustainable development goals to be agreed by the General Assembly" (paragraphs 245 – 251 in the outcome document).
On the margins of Rio+20, which took place last month on 20-22 June, the UN-REDD Programme organized and participated in numerous side events, including a debate on forest landscape restoration in the Rio Conventions Pavilion. Overall, the conference provided excellent opportunities to share information and experience, and resulted in a strengthened mandate for supporting all phases of REDD+, towards a green economy in which forests will play an important role.