Building REDD+ for People and Nature: from lessons learned across Indonesia, Peru and the Democratic Republic of Congo to a new vision for REDD+
This report reflects on lessons learned from three years of work building and testing capacities to reduce forest carbon emissions across nearly 15.5 million hectares of the world’s most important tropical forests – an area larger than the size of England – and links these to a new vision for REDD+.
Forests play an integral role in the survival of people and the planet. More than 1.6 billion people around the world are directly dependent on forests for fuel, housing and nourishment. Forests are also carbon stores – holding more carbon than found in the entire atmosphere. Forest loss accounts for up to 20% of annual global carbon emissions – more than that emitted by all the automobiles, trucks, trains, planes and ship worldwide. It is imperative, therefore, that forests must be conserved if we are to ensure the long-term livelihood of people and the planet.
REDD+ – reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, conserving and sustainably managing forests, and enhancing forest carbon stocks – is one tool to help us do just that. REDD+ can not only benefit the climate, but also biodiversity and local livelihoods – and in ways above and beyond other traditional forest conservation initiatives. REDD+ does this by creating incentives for developing tropical forest countries to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. But it can only work if it benefits nature and people – if it preserves forests while protecting the rights and livelihoods of the communities that live in and depend on them.
Three years ago, with funding from the government of Norway, WWF began a programme of work to support and leverage the potential conservation and livelihood opportunities of REDD+. This work sought to develop REDD+ models that secure scalable forest ecosystem management while engaging those communities that live in and depend on forests in ways that improve their livelihoods. The work was carried out across three key tropical forest landscapes encompassing nearly 15.5 million hectares: the Maï-Ndombe region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Kutai Barat District of East Kalimantan Province in Indonesia and the Madre de Dios region of Peru.
These landscapes were selected because they face great peril but hold tremendous promise. They represent some of the most threatened and important tropical forests of the world in three of the five largest rainforest countries on earth and in the three major rainforest blocks: the Amazon, Borneo and Congo Basin – yet they offer the highest potential for carbon emissions reduction.
WWF’s report Building REDD+ for People and Nature: from lessons learned across Indonesia, Peru and the Democratic Republic of Congo to a new vision for REDD+ shares the impacts, challenges, lessons learned and trends that emerged from this work, and reflects on these to inform a new vision for REDD+.
WWF’s Forest and Climate Initiative (FCI), now known as the Forest and Climate Programme, led the work, with joint planning and implementation carried out in partnership with local experts and on-the-ground teams from WWF’s offices in DRC, Peru and Indonesia, and their partners.
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