In the run-up to this year's climate talks in Copenhagen, governments the world over are proposing ways to reduce forest emissions. But are they backed by scientific evidence? And how can developing countries ensure they benefit?
Displaying 1-6 of 6 key documents
Source: Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) | November 2008
This information briefing, published by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), focuses on the implications of different country circumstances for measuring and monitoring forest degradation within activities for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD).
The authors introduce forest degradation as a set of activities that can have different driving forces than deforestation, highlighting the fact that forests can remain degraded for a long time before becoming deforested. Degradation is typically caused by selective logging, fire and fuel wood collection.
The authors discuss monitoring, reporting and verifying (MRV) options for projects aiming to reduce forest degradation, emphasising the need to consider changes in both forest area and average carbon stocks per unit area. Based on a framework for forest transition with varying rates of deforestation and degradation, the relative importance for including degradation within REDD mechanisms for different countries is also outlined.
The briefing concludes that although monitoring and measuring degradation is more complicated than deforestation, developing a flexible MRV framework for including degradation in REDD mechanisms could be important for international equity. In particular, they expect that many African countries could benefit from the inclusion of degradation within REDD frameworks.
Source: Global Canopy Programme | December 2008
This policy brief, published by the Global Canopy Programme, proposes a system called Proactive Investment in Natural Capital (PINC), to reward countries for conserving large areas of tropical forest that act as 'global utilities' providing ecosystem services essential for preserving global food and energy security.
The authors suggest that the system, could complement current proposals for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). They argue that REDD could encourage countries with historically low deforestation rates to destroy their forests. They point out that if REDD successfully brings deforestation rates down — to zero eventually — then in the long-term, countries will not be able to receive payments for reducing deforestation.
The alternative, PINC, would build on existing systems that pay for ecosystem services, such as eco-certification, although scaling-up funding for standing forests is still a challenge, say the authors. To be effective, PINC requires capacity building and improved governance across the world. Land tenure reform will be needed in many countries, as will local participation in decision making and training in forest management. But, if appropriately designed, PINC could provide local communities with co-benefits such as poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation.
Source: WRI | March 2009
This policy paper, published by the World Resources Institute (WRI), suggests a range of sustainable development policies within frameworks for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD).
The authors argue that there can be significant barriers to countries providing guaranteed quantified measures of emissions reductions for use in carbon trading schemes. They propose that a broader range of sustainable development policies and measures, such as building institutional capacity to reduce fires or combat illegal logging, should be included within REDD measures.
The authors recommend that developed countries encourage developing nations to reduce forest degradation, including measures that do not produce tradable carbon credits, and support a range of approaches to measure, report and verify nationally appropriate mitigation actions.
Further work is urgently needed, they say, to develop and refine these approaches, including specifying acceptable metrics, determining how to make different countries' activities comparable, and exploring alternative sources of sustainable funding.
Source: Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO) | May 2004
The first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change ends in 2012; at the time of writing, it remains unclear what will follow. Various approaches have been suggested, and the authors of this report analyse current thinking on future climate policy and make their own recommendations.
The report considers long-term climate policy targets, climate policy frameworks and their architecture, issues related to adaptation and sustainable development. The major challenges, issues and questions concerning the design of future climate policy are addressed throughout.
While somewhat lengthy, the report provides a thorough theoretical background for anyone interested in the intricacies of future climate policy. It is complementary reading to the Pew Center report International Climate Efforts Beyond 2012 (see above).
Source: Pew Center on Global Climate Change | December 2004
The emerging discussion on international climate policy after 2012 (the end of the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol) has generated a number of approaches. Many of these are only now being analysed.
This report provides a comprehensive yet succinct overview of 43 different approaches to international climate efforts. Following an overview of key issues, each approach is explained in terms of its rationale, forum, time frame, mitigation commitment, institutional arrangements and other elements.
The document provides a reference guide to the essential characteristics of post-2012 climate approaches. It is most useful, and key reading for anyone interested in climate policy.
Source: Pew Center on Global Climate Change | December 1999
Several factors influence the costs of greenhouse gas mitigation. This report illustrates the importance of one such factor — international emissions trading — in reducing the costs of carbon control. The authors argue that an international greenhouse gas emissions trading regime will significantly lower global mitigation costs.