Doha, Qatar -- 29 November 2012 -- WWF REDD+ negotiators produced a pleasant surprise today on day four of UNFCCC-COP18, when draft text from the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) was released indicating coordinated and comprehensive agreement on key REDD+ issues.
SBSTA is one of two permanent subsidiary bodies to UNFCCC. It supports the work of the COP through the provision of timely information and advice on scientific and technological matters as they relate to the Convention or its Kyoto Protocol.
The draft text addressed the key issues of national forest monitoring systems, reference levels (RLs) and monitoring, reporting and verifying (MRV) in the most coherent and logical format to date. Some of the key success for REDD+ included in the draft text are:
• For the first time, RLs and MRV are linked together logically, with the text stating: “…developing country Parties…should provide data…on anthropogenic forest-related emissions …consistent with the established forest reference emissions levels and /or forest reference levels…”
• Also for the first time, consistent metrics were set for measurement, in that “…measurement of anthropogenic forest-related emissions…should be expressed in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year.”
• The text also reaffirms the importance of RLs, calling on the Secretariat to organize the technical assessment of RLs, subject to a verification process carried out by an independent team of experts – an important step as it paves the way for RLs that are currently being developed by countries to have a mechanism for their evaluation – removing a current block in the negotiating process.
The result of this work by the SBSTA is to lay the nuts and bolts foundation for an eventual REDD+ mechanism. Countries will now have the guidance and assessment needed to move forward and implement REDD+.
“SBSTA has today drafted the foundation for a REDD+ mechanism in ways that we did not anticipate at this COP. This provides critical guidance necessary for countries to engage in REDD+ and move forward.” said Bruce Cabarle, Leader of WWF’s international Forest and Climate Initiative. “While this draft text should be applauded for its logical approach in bringing together formally disparate issues , the big question still exists – how will all this be financed? With this action by SBSTA, we now need, more urgently than ever before, finance commitments that carry REDD+ through to 2020 and beyond.”
The current draft text must be finalized on Friday, November 30th for formal submission to the COP. WWF is calling on the draft text to be supported broadly by negotiators and Parties, as a positive step forward for REDD+ and the benefits it brings to people and the planet.