REDD+ – reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation, and conserving, sustainably managing and enhancing forest carbon stocks – aims to make tropical forests more valuable standing than cut down. By providing financial incentives to developing countries to maintain their forests, REDD+ has the potential to mitigate climate change, conserve biodiversity and reduce poverty. It is also an essential component of WWF’s goal of Zero Net Deforestation and Forest Degradation (ZNDD) by 2020.
Yet, international discussions on REDD+ are complex and support is fragmented, with a huge funding gap from 2012 to 2020. REDD+ is an unmissable opportunity for the planet, people and nature, but it urgently needs:
An inspiring vision and target: A clear, ambitious and measurable global target for reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation is a vital step toward limiting warming to well below 2°C. WWF’s targets for 2020 – ZNDD and no net greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and degradation – provide a framework for countries to formulate ambitious national targets and action.
Our Living Forests Model shows it is possible to achieve ZNDD by 2020 – and reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation to near zero – while providing humanity’s food and fuel and protecting biodiversity. REDD+ should include area-based targets for eliminating deforestation, as targets that are wholly based on emissions will logically lead to a focus on high-carbon forests at the expense of extensive, low-carbon forests that are nevertheless vital for biodiversity and ecosystem services.