|Yemi Katerere |
Like many of you, the UN-REDD Programme followed the Copenhagen negotiations closely especially on the issue of REDD+. Doing so was critical since the outcomes of COP-15 will impact UN-REDD’s strategic options moving forward. The Programme has also followed the numerous and diverse analysis and opinions that have emerged out of COP-15. In this context, it’s helpful to revisit the facts with respect to REDD+ in Copenhagen.
The first encouraging development for REDD+ at COP-15 came when Australia, France, Japan, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States agreed to dedicate US$3.5 billion as initial public finance to slow, halt and eventually reverse deforestation in developing countries in the context of an ambitious and comprehensive outcome in Copenhagen.
During the conference, REDD+ was discussed in two bodies: the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperation Action (AWG-LCA). The SBSTA produced a draft decision on methodological REDD issues, which was adopted by COP-15. This document deals with issues that the UN-REDD Programme is well-placed to deliver and that are central to its new strategy, including identifying and addressing drivers of deforestation and forest degradation resulting in emissions; establishing robust and transparent national and sub-national forest monitoring systems; and developing guidance for effective engagement of indigenous peoples and local communities.
REDD garnered mention in Articles 6, 8 and 10 of the official Copenhagen Accord. Specifically, Article 6 states, “We recognize the crucial role of reducing emission from deforestation and forest degradation and the need to enhance removals of greenhouse gas emission by forests and agree on the need to provide positive incentives to such actions through the immediate establishment of a mechanism including REDD+ to enable the mobilization of financial resources from developed countries.”
The Copenhagen Accord also established the Copenhagen Green Climate Fund, which will be worth US$10 billion a year from 2010-2012. Financing for “forestry” is included in this figure. By 2020, “developed countries commit to a goal of mobilizing jointly US$100 billion a year,” which includes carbon markets.
Coming out of COP-15, the UN-REDD Programme is more encouraged than ever by the widespread and growing consensus around REDD+, as a key element in global climate change mitigation. The Programme continues to receive an ever increasing number of requests by countries wanting to join the UN-REDD Programme, including Mexico, Costa Rica, Solomon Islands, Republic of Congo, Kenya, Nigeria and Sudan. To respond to this increasing demand and move towards longer-term programming as the Quick Start phase comes to an end, the UN-REDD Programme is finalizing a five-year programme strategy. This strategy will seek to mobilize additional resources to help more and more countries develop successful REDD+ mechanisms that have the potential to mitigate climate change for many decades to come.
Head, UN-REDD Secretariat