UN-REDD organized a dialogue during Asia Pacific Climate Week on the need to boost climate ambitions through high-integrity forest carbon markets. The dialogue also explored strategies to unlock the potentials of forest-based actions within Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and highlighted key issues, including policy levers for transitioning to high-integrity forest carbon markets, the financial challenges faced by forest-rich countries, and the pivotal role of carbon markets in achieving net-zero goals.
Mr. Mario Boccucci, Head of UN-REDD Secretariat, opened the dialogue by highlighting the critical role of forests in closing the emissions gap. He also emphasized the potential of forest-based actions to catalyze increased climate ambition and the importance of fostering collaboration among a wide range of partners.
Moderated by Ms. Annette Wallgren and Ms. Katrina Borromeo from the UNEP Regional Office in Asia Pacific, the dialogue included perspectives from different stakeholders including representatives from forest-rich countries, indigenous groups, and business associations.
Mr. Jason Paniu, Measurement, Reporting and Verification Officer at Papua New Guinea’s Climate Change and Development Authority, pointed out the complexity of the market spectrum and its potential risks for countries, especially in securing necessary finance for meeting NDC targets. He noted that 100% of PNG's NDC targets are conditional, making rewards appear challenging.
Mr. Bjorn Fonden, Policy Officer at the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), underscored the essential role of companies in climate change mitigation, highlighting ongoing actions among top companies to achieve net-zero goals. Fonden emphasized that while carbon markets are not a panacea, they can serve as a crucial tool for providing finance and incentives to preserve forests.
Ms. Grace Balawag, Director of Tebtebba, shed light on challenges and opportunities for IPLCs in carbon markets. She emphasized the importance of investing in capacity development and knowledge sharing with IPLCs, while expressing concern about self-proclaimed Indigenous leaders engaging with buyers without legitimacy.
The dialogue concluded with actionable recommendations, including increased stakeholder dialogue, identified entry points for integrating forest carbon into wider climate goals, and forging new partnerships across multiple stakeholder groups.