The Coalition for Rainforest Nations Continues to Innovate and Advance REDD+

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The Coalition for Rainforest Nations (CfRN), one of the largest cross-regional negotiating groups within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) agreed to move forward with ambitious and innovative plans to tackle climate change while sustainably conserving the world’s forests. The Coalition issued a formal communique to France and Peru, the incoming President and current President of the Conference of the Parties, highlighting that the draft 2015 Paris Agreement will only succeed if REDD+ is part of the deal.

The Republic of Panama, current Chair of CfRN, hosted the meeting to discuss REDD+ in the 2015 Paris agreement. “After ten long years, the methodological and technical guidance for REDD+ implementation in developing countries is complete. REDD+ is ready to go!” said Panama’s Minister of Environment, Mirei Endara. “Our Coalition is now considering innovative institutional and financial tools to kick-start REDD+ at the necessary scale”, according to Endara.

Mr. Syed Mahmood Nasir of Pakistan cited IPCC findings that highlight the critical role that the world’s forests play in combating climate change. He specifically noted the IPCC conclusion that GHG emissions may remain in the atmosphere for approximately one thousand years, far longer than the previous estimate of 100 years.

“We have all known for years that emission reductions are key to slowing climate change,” said Mr. Andrew Bishop, Guyana’s Lead Climate Negotiator. Now, we know that removals, the fundamental function of forests, are just as essential,” Bishop said.

The Coalition overwhelmingly concluded that a Paris Agreement cannot be considered a success atmospherically, without a strong reflection for REDD+.

“This meeting was a necessity considering the slow pace and the insufficient financial support provided thus far to implement REDD+. We will only meet the 2 degree target if REDD+ is fully funded to bridge the current mitigation gap in the draft Paris Agreement,” said Gervais Istoua Madzous of the Republic of Congo.

After ten years of work supporting rainforest nations to mainstream REDD+, the Coalition is taking steps to broaden its institutional framework to facilitate the achievement of its stated goals which included consideration of initiatives with the private sector, continued investment in MRV and GHG inventory systems, and sectoral collaboration to implement REDD+ in developing countries.

The Coalition also discussed the proposed market-based measures (MBM) of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and potential linkage with REDD+. “In this case, it’s important to observe and respect the IPCC methodologies and UNFCCC decisions to ensure environmental and social inclusiveness”, highlighted Ambassador Kevin Conrad of CfRN.

“Continued and scaled up support for GHG Inventories to accurately and conservatively report on emission reductions and removals is of great importance”, stated Rensie Panda, of Papua New Guinea.

CfRN Managing Director, Federica Bietta noted, “The focus of all our present and future initiatives will always be committed to supporting all co-benefits of REDD+ including poverty eradication, gender empowerment and support of rural and indigenous communities.”

“Developing countries must lead REDD+ to success. We must unite with all our friends and partners, implement the Warsaw Framework for REDD+ and ensure the 2015 Paris Agreement kick-starts the needed political momentum. We must reach out and innovate to finance REDD+ at the pace and scale our climate, biodiversity and rural communities demand,” said Ambassador Conrad.

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Paul Chung
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