Forest Update: Resources, Projects Showcase Progress in REDD+ Initiatives, SFM
UN Photo/Eva Fendiaspara
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Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks (REDD+) has been a central focus of forest-related publications and resources.

The UN-REDD Programme published a technical resource document, ‘Towards a Common Understanding of REDD+ under the UNFCCC,’ and the World Bank released a video series showing how communities benefit from sustainable forest management (SFM).

Stakeholder communications feature national-level developments in Equatorial Guinea, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, Togo and Zambia.

February 2017: Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks (REDD+) has been a central focus of forest-related publications and resources, and stakeholder action highlighting country-level developments.

Titled ‘Towards a Common Understanding of REDD+ under the UNFCCC,’ a technical resource document published by the UN-REDD Programme fosters a common understanding of REDD+ related issues and concepts, for improved implementation at the country level. It includes sections on: the evolution and current status of REDD+, including an overview decisions of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC; important REDD+ concepts, including the scope of REDD+, and phased approach to implementation; and the four necessary elements for REDD+ implementation, including a national strategy or action plan, a national forest reference emission level/forest reference level; a robust and transparent national forest monitoring system; and a safeguards information system.

The document, which will be updated periodically as relevant UNFCCC COP decisions are agreed, further addresses: the information requirements for countries implementing REDD+ activities and seeking results-based payments/results-based finance for REDD+, as well as the assessment and analysis processes for this information; and the required systems and processes that countries should have in place to access results-based payments/results-based finance, as set out in the Warsaw Framework. [Towards a Common Understanding of REDD+ under the UNFCCC]

A series of video stories sponsored by the World Bank and developed jointly with country authorities and forest communities aims to show how communities expect to benefit from good forest management and payments for reduced deforestation and degradation under REDD+. The first video launched in the series depicts beneficiaries in Ghana. This country has suffered from high rates of deforestation, but has also significantly benefited from REDD+ financing and has proven results in transforming the livelihoods of forest communities. [World Bank Blog on Forests and Livelihoods] [Video: REDD+ in Ghana: Engaging People in Sustainable Forest Management and Bringing Community Benefits

National-level developments feature in several reports and recent releases. The World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) highlights the finalization and approval of Mozambique’s national REDD+ strategy. The objective is to conserve Mozambique’s wooded areas, promote sustainable development, and reduce deforestation by enhancing forest resilience to climate change, all with an integrated approach to rural development. The strategy also aims to increase carbon stocks by reducing emissions of 170MtCO2 per year until 2030, an ambitious goal that is in line with the country’s climate action plans. Implementation of the strategy will be financed by ongoing programmes that the World Bank Group already has on the ground, including the Forest Investment Project, the Dedicated Grant Mechanism for local communities, the Mozambique Conservation Areas for Biodiversity and Development Project, and the FCPF through its Carbon Fund Project. [World Bank Press Release]

Focusing on Togo, the World Bank showcases the country’s efforts in establishing the foundations for sustainable forest management (SFM) while addressing climate change, including the first national forest inventory, establishment of national-level institutional structures for REDD+, and stakeholder consultations, including with farmers and traditional leaders. [World Bank Press Release]

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a US$10 million investment from the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI) aims to build the country’s national forest monitoring system.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a US$10 million investment from the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI) aims to build the country’s national forest monitoring system. The system, to be implemented with technical support from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), will monitor changes in forest cover and major deforestation events, to produce information that is essential for the country to meet UNFCCC requirements, as well as a vital component of the REDD+ mechanism. [FAO Press Release]

With CAFI funding and FAO technical support, Equatorial Guinea is launching the development of a national investment plan for participation in REDD+. Initial meetings will raise awareness of the CAFI initiative, the REDD+ process, and seek agreement on a work plan. [FAO Press Release]

FAO has also provided technical support for a survey of Zambia’s forests, which shows unsustainably high rates of timber extraction. The survey is expected to inform the government’s response to the drivers of very high rates of deforestation, which threaten food security, biodiversity and wildlife in the country. [FAO Press Release]

Finally, at the institutional level, FAO held a workshop to spearhead the development of a new strategy for FAO’s REDD+ and National Forest Monitoring teams. The aim is to expand their technical expertise to address broader elements of REDD+, including investment strategies, agroforestry, restoration, governance, tenure and law enforcement. The International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) and the Korea Forest Service signed a memorandum of understanding to increase cooperation on the restoration and sustainable management of tropical forests. [FAO Press Release] [ITTO Press Release]

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