A significant step forward in the battle against climate change was made today with agreement from around 50 nations for the rapid deployment of more than US $4bn to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD). Deforestation and forest degradation are currently responsible for more CO2 emissions than all of the motorized vehicles on the planet, so conserving forests is not only crucial for conserving biodiversity but also for addressing climate change.
A coalition of some of the world’s leading environment and development NGOs, including Conservation International, Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resource Defense Council, Rainforest Alliance, the Union of Concerned Scientists and Wildlife Conservation Society, said that today’s Oslo Climate and Forest Conference to formally launch a “REDD+ Partnership” was an important move from talk to action and released the following statement:
“The launch of the REDD+ Partnership shows that countries are finally ready to move from talking about stopping deforestation and forest degradation, to taking action to address this challenge. With deforestation accounting for the same amount of global warming pollution as all the cars, trucks, ships, and planes in the world, we must turn the corner on this issue if we are to address global warming. Every second that we delay action on deforestation we lose an area the size of two football fields. Time is not on our side.
This partnership can serve as an important venue for countries to cooperate on specific actions to address deforestation and forest degradation emissions. The world needs to ramp up its actions on deforestation and forest degradation and the REDD+ Partnership countries are central to this effort. These countries must mobilize the necessary resources, political will, and actions to achieve lasting reductions in deforestation and forest degradation emissions. We have no time to lose.
This partnership can be a launching point for increased global effort. The global community must continue to develop a post-2012 international climate agreement, one that recognizes the critical role of reducing deforestation and degradation emissions. This partnership represents important progress towards that goal. We look forward to working with all the countries in this partnership to deliver effective, efficient, and transparent actions to address the emissions associated with deforestation and forest degradation. Enhancing civil society participation in the partnership will help ensure all relevant actors are engaged in forest-related climate solutions.”
Some of the key nations involved in the partnership include:
- Developing countries: Argentina, Brazil, Cambodia, Cameroon, Colombia, Costa Rica, DRC, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guyana, Indonesia, Mexico, PNG, Suriname and Vietnam.
- Developed countries: Australia, Canada, Denmark, European Commission, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and USA.
The Rainforest Alliance works to make sure that policies and mechanisms to address REDD+ are developed quickly and responsibly in order to bring maximum benefit in terms of reducing climate change as well as benefiting forest-dwelling people and conserving biodiversity. At the same time, we are piloting on the ground efforts to conserve forests in order to mitigate climate change, auditing the quality of such efforts and continuing our efforts to make agriculture – which can be a significant cause of deforestation – and forestry sustainable and climate friendly.