REDD - Saving Rainforests The Smart Way
September 17, 2015.
Now that we know that climate change is the real deal – we need to focus on the steps we can take to prevent it.
Here’s a big one – SAVE THE PLANET’s FORESTS!
It turns out that in addition to being home for thousands of amazing critters, which by itself would be sufficient reason to act on climate change, ongoing deforestation and forest degradation account for a whopping 15% of global gas emissions!
That’s a big deal.
During normal growth and regeneration, they remove massive amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and build-up biomass. By nature, they are a natural "sink" for the increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases. Healthy forest management is estimated to be one of the most cost-efficient climate change mitigation strategies.
That’s why we like REDD+.
REDD+ stands for Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation. Developed through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), it is essentially a vehicle to financially reward developing countries if they commit to making verified efforts towards sustainable forest management and the enhancement of forest carbon stocks.
To be eligible for REDD+, participating countries must implement measuring and monitoring systems compliant with UNFCCC standards (MRV). To help facilitate this, there is the UN-REDD Programme, which helps countries develop cost-effective, robust and compatible systems for MRV. These systems are designed to use both field inventory data and satellite data to establish reference emission levels. The Programme is working with international experts such as NASA, Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) and the US Geological Survey to provide partner countries with planning tools and advice to help strengthen their technical and institutional capacity for effective national MRV systems.
The goal here is to mobilize financial resources for developed countries through both grants and direct investments in areas like forest management and renewable energy development. Also, programs the Green Climate Fund are now working so participating countries can apply for result-based financing.
And even if climate change is not your passion, there are many reasons to take the long stewardship view on forests.
Implementing REDD+ will have secondary benefits including:
- helping conserve water resources
- preventing flooding
- reducing run-off
- helping to control soil erosion
- reducing river siltation
- helping protect fisheries
- protecting investments in hydropower facilities
- preserving biodiversity
- and preserving indigenous cultures and traditions.
And there is really good news. Thanks to the tireless efforts of negotiators from around the world, an updated REDD+ plan could be one of major achievements at the upcoming COP21 talks in Paris this December.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed.
The payoff will benefit us all.
Keep in touch!