Reports & Analysis
Ecosystem Co-Benefits Workshop in Cambridge
UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC) workshop provides the UN-REDD Programme with guidance on how to tackle ecosystem co-benefits at the national and global levels and incorporate co-benefits into national REDD+ strategies.
By Lera Miles, UNEP-WCMC
Undeterred by the volcanic ash cloud over northern Europe at the end of April, 44 experts from around the world gathered in Cambridge to exchange ideas and debate emerging issues ranging from the definition of co-benefits to the scope for direct economic incentives. The three-day workshop was held from 27 to 29 April and was attended by REDD+ specialists from UN-REDD Programme pilot and partner countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Indonesia, Panama, Tanzania and Zambia. Guests from Norway, Germany, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Global Environment Facility (GEF) and a number of experts on conservation, development and economics also contributed to the workshop and its findings.
The workshop objectives were:
- To present draft analyses, tools and guidance for addressing ecosystem co-benefits from REDD+ to pilot countries and other stakeholders; and to receive feedback before these products are finalized
- To discuss the social, institutional and economic aspects of ecosystem co-benefits
- To consider the integration of ecosystem co-benefits into national REDD+ strategies
- To arrive at a set of findings, recommendations, and priority actions for how the UN-REDD Programme tackles ecosystem co-benefits (at national and global levels)
As well as presentations on the work of the UN-REDD Programme and national REDD+ programmes on ecosystem co-benefits, workshop participants heard UN-REDD Programme donor countries’ perspectives, and expert presentations on ecosystem service valuation and possibilities for marketing credits linked to co-benefits; financial incentive mechanisms; equity and ecosystem co-benefits; tools for assessing and modelling co-benefits; synergies with the CBD and GEF programmes of work; and two approaches to co-benefits standards: the REDD+ Social & Environmental Standards Initiative, and the UN-REDD Programme Risk-based approach to readiness social standards.
There was useful discussion in a series of break-out groups on ‘what are co-benefits’, ‘approaches to safeguard and enhance co-benefits’, ‘monetary incentives’ and ‘equity and governance’, and on the regional challenges and issues related to co-benefits in Latin America, Africa and Asia-Pacific. The workshop recommendations arose from these discussions and a subsequent plenary session.
The recommendations are available together with the workshop proceedings, presentations, agenda and participant list on the UN-REDD workspace (here) and the UNEP-WCMC website: www.unep-wcmc.org/climate/workshops.aspx
|Lera Miles |
Lera Miles works for the Climate Change & Biodiversity Programme of UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Cambridge, UK.