Global Symposium on REDD+ in a Green Economy
The Global Symposium held in June in Indonesia brought together participants to discuss ideas, share experience and best practices and workshop on key issues regarding REDD+ in a Green Economy.
The interest and engagement in REDD+ is picking up momentum from a broader range of development actors, according to participants at the Global Symposium on REDD+ in a Green Economy held from 19-21 June 2013 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The report of the Global Symposium is made available on the UN-REDD Programme’s website here.
The uptick in attention from business stakeholders and other cross-sector newcomers is a result of, what one participant dubbed a “mother load of benefits” stemming from REDD+ readiness investments and activities, along with the increased synergies from its integration with green growth/green economy efforts.
REDD+ planning efforts have focused on spurring the transformative changes in governance, ways of thinking, and approaches needed to switch from an unsustainable course of business-as-usual to one that leads to economic growth and social equity, without destroying the natural resources on which it depends.
“As it has evolved, REDD+ has taken on a broad range of social, economic, and political issues affecting deforestation and land use decisions,” said Tim Christophersen, Senior Programme Officer in UNEP. “In the process, the objectives of REDD+ have merged with those of the green economy,” he added, “resulting in a vehicle that is much more complex – but still running strong.”
REDD+ and the green economy share an agenda of promoting economic growth and development, with an eye to investing in natural capital and ecosystem services, and a focus on alleviating poverty and social inequities.
Lessons learned from REDD+ pilot countries were shared at the symposium, such as the need to engage the key economic sectors that are driving deforestation as part of the solution. This includes not only industries such as commercial agriculture, timber, and mining, but also the millions of poor who rely on forests for their livelihoods but also sometimes spur land use change for subsistence agriculture.
Another lesson learned is that REDD+ has become a useful platform for discussing development options and tradeoffs among diverse stakeholders. REDD+ activities and planning have brought sharper focus on the value of applying a landscape approach to land use decisions, rather than one targeting individual sectors.
Private sector representatives discussed the attractiveness of REDD+ and green economy linkages from the business perspective, including the shifting of mindsets to sustainable growth and opportunities for new types of investments. They also underscored the value of integration across multiple sectors, and policy supports to reduce risk and create more business enabling environments.
The increased efficiencies created by the linkage of REDD+ with the green economy transition were highlighted, as was the potential for using REDD+ initiatives as a catalyst for change. There was clear consensus among participants from both public and private sectors that leveraging REDD+ efforts with other investments can create a new generation of assets, such as increased human capital, low carbon infrastructure, clean technology, and stronger institutions and governance.