This piece originally appeared in Lessons About Land Tenure, Forest Governance and REDD+: Case Studies from Africa, Asia and Latin America.[^1] The full text of the article is available here.
Written with analysis from Athena Ballesteros, Louise Brown, Florence Daviet, Crystal Davis, Aarjan Dixit, Kelly Levin, Heather McGray, Remi Moncel, Clifford Polycarp, Kirsten Stasio, Fred Stolle, and Lutz Weischer
Jennifer Morgan, Edward Cameron, and our team of climate experts look back on the key decisions from Durban and give a first take on their implications for global efforts to tackle climate change.
As weary negotiators return home from the marathon United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) talks in Durban, South Africa, opinion is divided on the deal that was struck.
Some believe the package – consisting of a new “Durban Platform” to negotiate the long-term future of the regime, a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol, and an array of decisions designed to implement the Cancun agreements – represents a significant step forward and cause for hope. Others are more cautious, viewing these outputs as insufficient in ambition, content, and timing to tackle the far-reaching threat of climate change.
Though forests play an essential role in international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the development of systems to monitor deforestation and forest degradation has been slow. This is due to the demanding technical requirements and the large capacity gaps in many countries. Measuring and monitoring change on the ground and via satellite in a consistent way is no easy task.
Countries need to develop national measurement, reporting, and verification (MRV) systems to monitor progress towards achieving REDD+ goals. Establishing procedures to do so would be a significant outcome of the UN climate negotiations in Durban. This task falls to the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA).
With all its complex processes and acronyms, it’s easy to forget that the international climate change negotiations are supposed to lead to changes on the ground. There have been several developments this year, however, which should remind us of the urgency of the task and the importance of getting each piece of the puzzle right, including incentives for developing countries to reduce their emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+).
The thousands of delegates preparing to descend on Durban for COP17 should read Robert F. Kennedy’s famous “Day of Affirmation” speech en route. They will discover a call to action as powerful today as it was almost half a century ago. They will also find sensible guidance on how to overcome the sense of drift that has gripped the climate negotiations for much of this past year. If they heed his call they may discover that African soils are not for burying the climate regime as some pessimists suggest, but rather for growing the seeds of its future success.
This piece was originally posted on the Ecosystem Services for Policy Alleviation website, and was written with WRI intern Julie Edmonds.
In these times of budget constraints, municipal authorities, donors and development NGOs are increasingly looking to services provided by nature as a less costly alternative to building expensive man-made infrastructure.
Such services, also known as ecosystem services, are the positive externalities that ecosystems such as forests, floodplains and wetlands provide for communities around them.
A summary of key elements, and unanswered questions, in Indonesia's recent moratorium on new forest permits.
The Forest Investment Program (FIP) is a targeted program within the framework of the Climate Investment Funds that supports developing countries' efforts to reduce deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). The FIP Results Framework is a tool to monitor and evaluate the implementation of FIP funds. Following are WRI's comments suggesting ways to improve the FIP Results Framework.
How does the new agreement on REDD set the stage for halting the destruction and degradation of forests?
Jennifer Morgan and our team of climate experts look back on the keys to progress in Cancun, and analyze the major decisions.