Message from Paris: REDD+ Keeps Calm and Carries on

The REDD+ negotiators in Paris still have plenty of explicit and implicit references to REDD+ in the text that have a better-than-good chance of surviving this week.

While we would like to see an explicit reference to REDD+ in the Paris Agreement or its decisions that guide its implementation, what is most important for REDD+ is a good final Paris Agreement. That will provide the impetus for quicker implementation of REDD+ and the big, big signal some say it needs. This second week is when the ministers need to focus on delivering it.

The REDD+ negotiators have spent most of their time trying to unlock language around what some countries want to call the new “REDD+ Mechanism” (currently paragraph 3bis).

The COP21 climate negotiations on REDD+ made little progress last week – keep calm and see why here – while there was a flurry of announcements from countries regarding the implementation of REDD+.

New financing please? Germany, Norway, and the UK (the “GNU” as they’re known) led the pack by announcing $5 billion in REDD+ funding between 2015-2020. The country of Colombia was the latest to receive a bilateral agreement worth $100 million through the REDD + Early Movers Program.

Implementation is the word of the day: At least at the Lima Paris Action Agenda, where many signaled the need for implementation. The biggest news was that Brazil submitted its recently decreed by President Dilma National REDD+ Strategy and thus, was able to inaugurate the Lima REDD+ UNFCCC hub. Mexico presented their progress to date on creating and consulting their National REDD+ strategy, which they expect to submit in April, 2016. Finally, Peru submitted their Reference Emissions Level for review, another of the Warsaw REDD+ Framework elements.

Private sector sourcing from REDD+ jurisdictions: This idea seems to be making its first steps as Marks & Spencer and Unilever both publicly committed to prioritize sourcing from jurisdictions moving towards zero-deforestation. The most interesting news was that Mondelez is going to directly work with the government of Cote d’Ivoire to implement their National REDD+ program.

Indigenous Peoples are part of the solution: Felipe Calderon started his summarizing remarks of the Lima Paris Action Agenda on Forests by noting many speakers panelists mentioned the importance of securing land tenure for Indigenous Peoples. Additionally, a new analysis of tropical forest carbon stocks found that 20.1% are located in Indigenous Territories, making them significant players in mitigating climate change from deforestation.

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