In just a few days, I will have the pleasure of seeing many of you in Copenhagen for perhaps the most important climate summit of our times. Expectations are high on all sides. For the UN-REDD Programme and to all those who have been working hard to pilot REDD+ activities around the world, it is clear that an agreement on REDD+ must be reached. Finding a more cost effective abatement solution will not be easy and we don’t have the luxury of time. We need to act now.
And there are many reasons why we cannot wait. Each day we do nothing we lose valuable goods and services that forests provide, such as shelter, food, clean water, let alone their potential for climate change mitigation.
The REDD challenges ahead are numerous yet surmountable. Strong and coordinated partnerships at national and international levels, significant scaling up of activities, interim financing mechanisms and well-planned actions between now and 2015 are key elements for overcoming the hurdles. I hope we will remember 2009 as the year we stood up for fundamental change and opted to act decisively to address the climate challenge. The UN-REDD Programme looks forward to a successful outcome in Copenhagen and stands ready to support the implementation of a future REDD+ mechanism.
Head, UN-REDD Secretariat