WWF Forest and Climate Blog

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WWF's Forest and Climate team in Luki, DRC -- April 2012
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First-hand reports from WWF's international Forest and Climate team

WWF's Forest and Climate team works to ensure: "REDD+ significantly contributes to the conservation of tropical forest and thereby to the reduction of emissions from deforestation and degradation for the benefit of people and nature."

These are their words from the frontlines of their work...

 

REDD+ AT UNFCCC BONN MEETING (JUNE 2014)

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WWF's Forest and Climate team is attending the UNFCCC Bonn meeting from June 4 - 15. Look out regularly updated information from our experts. 

REDD+ at UNFCCC-COP19: Warsaw, Poland

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November 11-22, 2013

This year, WWF's Forest and Climate team will be blogging about key REDD+ issues during UNFCCC-COP19. Check back regularly for new posts!

COP19: Final Reflections -- 27 November

After the WWF team together with other leading NGOs walked out from COP19 on November 21 and after leaving Warsaw, we have now had some time to reflect upon and analyze the outcomes for REDD+. We were happy to see that the spirit of compromise prevailed as COP19 negotiators came together last week to finalize key elements of an international mechanism to reduce emissions from tropical deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) – the second largest source of emissions that cause climate change. The finalized REDD+ package includes decisions on the methodological issues needed to complete the design elements of REDD+, results-based finance for REDD+ and guidance on institutional arrangements for the coordination of support. 
 
Parties showed a commendable effort to work together and REDD+ is now a functioning, formal mechanism with agreed-on rules for establishing reference levels, recognizing mitigation activities, creating institutions, ensuring safeguards and – above all – creating performance-based financing mechanisms. The finalized REDD+ text includes agreement on results-based financing, and also calls for financing of all phases of REDD+ implementation – from readiness, to capacity-building, piloting and payments for performance. 
 
While we are disappointed in the lack of overall advancement on climate change policy at this year’s COP, we believe that the progress made on REDD+ sends the important signal for other topics under discussion under the UNFCCC - that political will, collaboration and commitment are vital to move our climate work ahead, but with them, success is possible. 
 
Despite the lack of headway in the larger climate negotiations, and the walkout, REDD+ donor nations of Germany, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States also renewed their commitment to REDD+ with the announcement the BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes. The initiative launched with an initial commitment of US$280 million, with additional partners expected to join. The announcement reinforced REDD+ as one of the few success stories at this year’s global climate change meeting, but there is still more work to do.
 
WWF is now looking ahead to COP20 in Peru and COP21 in Paris as critical opportunities to help shape a future global deal, with REDD+ as part of the solution. REDD+ will play a vital role in our fight against deforestation and climate change, but we still have important work to do on non-carbon benefits, non-market based approaches and in bringing in important lessons learned from local action. COP20 will be our chance to build on the strong foundation we have established in Warsaw and show that we can come together as global citizens to shape a successful REDD+ mechanism that benefits local communities, countries and the environment. 
 

We will be holding a webinar on the REDD+ outcomes in Warsaw. Please join us: 

REDD+ at UNFCCC-COP19, Outcomes and Next Steps, Thursday, December 5 at 11am EST 

Register now

 

COP19: Thursday, November 21

WWF has made the decision to join other NGOs to "walk out" of this year's global climate change meeting in Warsaw. For further information, please refer to this statement.

COP19: Wednesday, November 20

Well, it was quite a day for REDD+. Negotiators continue to debate inside COP19 on the issue of Results-based Finance for REDD+ and a draft decision is expected for tomorrow; on the other hand, it seems that there was an important breakthrough on the discussions around the SBSTA/SBI joint process related to the coordination of support and the consideration of institutional arrangements and other governance alternatives: it may be that the creation of the REDD+ Committee is out of the question here in Warsaw, but we will have to wait and see what Parties agree overnight.

Also, top REDD+ donor countries announced the launch of the Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes and a US$280 million starter fund, which will include private sector engagement. The initiative will be managed by the World Bank administered by the BioCarbon Fund, and is being launched by the US government (US$25 million), the United Kingdom (US$120 million) and Norway (up to US$135 million). While we at WWF applaud these countries for coming together to create this new initiative outside of the UN process, we hope it doesn’t distract from the need for the issue of REDD+ financing to be hammered out within the UNFCCC. Negotiators made great strides in the first few days of COP19 to work together and agree on the key technical issues of RLs and MRV. We really hope that they can also do the same to agree on a REDD+ finance architecture – we really believe that the time is here and now in Warsaw for this.

 

On other news coming out of the COP today, Poland’s Minister of the Environment, who is also the COP19 host-country President, has been removed from his ministerial position. He is expected to continue as the COP President, despite much criticism from many within the international NGO community here at the COP. We will have to see how this plays out in the coming days. We’ve posted our news release about the new Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes, along with the official launch documents, a video message from US Secretary of State John Kerry, and other related info. Also, we continue to update our Forest and Climate Negotiations page, which includes a growing list of information and resources related to REDD+ and UNFCCC.  
 

COP19: November 19

We are still keeping our fingers crossed that negotiators can show their commitment to REDD+ and put aside differences to produce a decision on Finance. Hampering this at the moment is the insistence of the CfRN (lead by Papua New Guinea) on the creation of a REDD+ body (i.e. a REDD+ Committee), which they feel will help unblock the REDD+ Finance debates. Rather, this is only distracting attention, time and efforts from the really important and more pressing matters – and could easily result in REDD+ decisions being delayed until Paris and beyond. We share their frustrations with the lack of ability, to date, of some Parties to put aside their difference on Finance, but really believe that it is here and now in Warsaw that negotiators need to produce a decision on Finance, and that this will create an effective pathway to unlock results-based payments for REDD+.  Our views are outlined in more detail in our news release here. In the meantime, we are awaiting a planned announcement on Wednesday by key REDD+ donor countries, who have hinted that they have big news to share on REDD+ funding commitments. Will their news be “big” enough? We will have to wait until tomorrow to find out.
 

COP19: November 18

It was a busy first week for REDD+ at COP19. While great progress was achieved in REDD+ technical negotiations – especially on the issues of RLs and MRV, discussions on Finance haven’t progressed as much as we’d have liked. Unfortunately, without agreement on a REDD+ Finance architecture, a balanced REDD+ package may not happen, and could threaten any major progress on REDD+ in Warsaw. We will have to see how the Finance discussions play out this week. Follow us on Twitter at @wwfforestcarbonfor breaking news reports from Warsaw as the week unfolds.
 

COP19: November 16

Really excited to report continued progress on REDD+. Last night, REDD+ negotiators worked afterhours -- staying up until 4am -- to finalize two missing pieces of the REDD+ puzzle for the methodological package of REDD+. Today at noon, Parties held their last contact group on the methodological guidance for activities relating to REDD+ and decided to accept the conclusions by the co-chairs and to submit the decisions on RLs and MRV for adoption by the COP.
 
People are excited but cautious since this is forwarded in brackets until the finance decision for REDD+ is finalized next week. If the finance decision meets Parties expectations, then all decisions will be adopted. 

Congratulations to the Parties for working so hard to show their spirit to compromise and to show that progress is possible on REDD+. Let's keep the momentum going!


COP19: November 14

WWF's COP19 REDD+ team is part of a larger international WWF team observing the global climate meeting. This dedicated team is working to support and positively influence the decisions being made in Warsaw. Learn more about this work and what the broader team is up to at: www.panda.org/COP19

COP19: November 12

Things continue to move along for REDD+ here at at COP19. On Tuesday (Nov. 12th), the first meeting of the Contact Group on REDD+ under SBSTA was held, and was open to observers as usual. Parties agreed to allow allow Observers to be present in the post-meeting informal consultations, so we were in the room for the full discussions.
 
In the meeting, civil society organisations (CSOs) expressed concerns on two draft conclusions from the Bonn meeting, forwarded for adoption by the COP: the decision on safeguards and on drivers of deforestation. Some CSOs, including indigenous people's (IPs) organizations, felt that the text could be interpreted as blaming IPs for the key drivers of deforestation. While most negotiators did not want to reopen the text, they did support a Norway suggestion to include a paragraph that clarifies the meaning of the text as intending no blame on IPs for deforestation. 
 
There also seems to be a solid sense of determination in the group to keep the process moving forward, with the meeting schedule proposed by the co-chairs (daily negotiation meetings, followed by consultations and drafting groups meeting two or three times daily until Friday) approved by  Parties. Many negotiators expressed the need to for a comprehensive REDD+ package to be progressed at COP19, calling for either a “balanced package of REDD+ decisions” (finalization of technical issues AND proposed elements for financial architecture) that moves forward all items on the agenda, or no approval at all on any items. We will have to see over the next two weeks how this "all or nothing" approach will pan out for REDD+. 
 

COP19: Opening Day

Day One of UNFCCC-COP19 started out well for REDD+ with several nations raising the importance of progressing REDD+ in their SBI remarks. In addition, the government of Cameroon and WWF hosted a side event that highlighted key REDD+ achievements in the country.

Civil society organizations, including WWF, hosted a press conference in which they presented their expectations for this year's COP. Watch an archive video recording of the press conference here.

WWF also hosted its own press conference on COP19 expectations, watch a video recording here.

Indigenous peoples also voiced strong pro-REDD+ voices on opening day, with COICA, a coalition representing indigenous groups from nine South American nations hosting a news conference on its Amazonian Indigenous REDD+ proposal. Watch COICA's news conference here

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Representatives of the US, UK, Norway and Germany partnered to announce the launch of the Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes and starter funds of US$280 million.
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The WWF COP19 REDD+ team, representing four continents, is a valuable resource to Parties as they progress REDD+ negotiations. 
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Parties to UNFCCC are convening in Warsaw, Poland for COP19. 
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Civil society organizations, including WWF, present their expectations for UNFCCC-COP19 in Warsaw, Poland. 
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WWF presents its expectations for UNFCCC-COP19 at a news conference in Warsaw, Poland.
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Representatives of COICA, a coalition of indigenous organizations from nine South American nations, present their perspectives on progressing REDD+ at a press conference at UNFCCC-COP19 in Warsaw, Poland.
 

Oslo REDD+ Exchange 2013

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 WWF's Forest and Climate team will be attending this year's Oslo REDD+ Exchange on October 29th and 30th. Visit our table at the daily Results Bar session, and look out for regular posts here from our team as to the daily news and info coming out of the event.

Not in Oslo for the event? Join in and follow on Twitter #osloreddx or watch the stream http://www.norad.no/en/oslo-redd-exchange-2013/streaming/  

Team updates from the Oslo REDD+ Exchange

Wednesday, 30 October 2013: Day two of the Oslo REDD Exchange

Day two of the Oslo REDD Exchange kicked off with discussions of finance, jurisdictional approaches, and methodology development. The highlight of the morning sessions was WWF-DRC’s Flory Botamba’s participation in a panel on improving national systems for REDD+ monitoring and MRV. Flory shared the WWF experiences in DRC, focusing on the importance of community mapping, training locals on technology use and quality data collection. Others on the panel discussed the challenges in finding a balance between complexity and cost, and how to make sure that capacity-building is an integral part of establishing MRV systems, both topics that we know well from our REDD+ MRV work in priority landscapes of Peru, DRC and Indonesia. 
 
The final plenary brought the group back together for reflections and a final voting exercise to track priorities at the end of the two day meeting.  Not surprisingly, the votes indicated that an international climate deal, along with the political will to move forward, was at the top of the list of what we need to see REDD+ succeed. Participants also put high priorities on addressing global demand, sustainability in commodity supply chains, and transformation progress on land tenure and right. 
 
As this meeting comes to a close, we know that there will certainly be challenges ahead, but that REDD+ can succeed. But REDD+ won’t thrive as an isolated entity. We need to ensure that REDD+ is focused not just on counting carbon, but as part of comprehensive toolkit for low-carbon paths to sustainable development.
 

Tuesday, 29 October 2013: Day one of the Oslo REDD Exchange

As hundreds of participants  from around the world settled into their seats this morning, the Oslo REDD Exchanged kicked off Day One with welcome remarks by Programme Committee Chair, Frances Seymour, and an introduction by Norwegian Minister of Climate and the Environment, Tine Sundtoft, who expressed continued support from the new government for REDD+ work.


The first plenary focused on REDD+ and Negotiations Finance and provided an overview of the current ‘state of play’ at the global level in the context of the UNFCCC negotiations and broader efforts to mobilize international finance for REDD+. After an introductory video message from UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres, panel discussions began.  Frances Seymour moderated a panel discussion on the challenges and opportunities for maintaining the momentum behind REDD+, presenting perspectives from negotiators, donor countries, forest countries and the private sector. The panel then answered questions from the audience and via Twitter about the key barriers slowing down progress in negotiations and scaled up REDD+ finance and the roles of governments, corporations and civil society in overcoming those barriers.
 

The second plenary looked at National Level Progress on REDD+, moderated by James Astill, Political Editor of The Economist.  Panelists included senior government officials and civil society representatives  from Peru, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Brazil who described progress towards REDD+ objectives in their countries, achievements to date, lessons learned and their challenges ahead. Questions from the audience in Oslo (and online following #OsloREDDx) asked panelists to address how REDD+ efforts are catalyzing transformational changes in forest management, the biggest barriers to progress, and how the international community can support national-level initiatives.

When the plenary sessions came to a close, the Results Bar was a rich opportunity to connect with people face-to-face to showcase our lessons learned in the field through a variety of publications and this short video.

The WWF Forest and Climate team has now taken a ‘divide and conquer’ approach, each attending one of the various parallel sessions for the remainder of the day including panels on the landscape approach, REDD+ relevant commodity supply chains, and analysis, concept and methodology development.
 

Monday, 28 October 2013: Gearing Up for the Oslo REDD Exchange 2013


This week, more than 450 people from nearly 60 countries – including those in civil society, research institutions, government, multilateral organizations and the private sector are gathering in Norway for the Oslo REDD Exchange 2013, hosted by the Norway's International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI).   WWF will be well-represented at this event with Josefina Braña-Varela (Director of Policy), Breen Byrnes (Communications and Learning), Paul Chatterton (Building REDD+), Flory Botamba (WWF-DRC REDD+ , Lloyd Gamble (WWF-US REDD+ team) and Fobissie Kalame (WWF-Cameroon REDD+) attending.  We are all looking forward to this important opportunity to showcase our REDD+ work, collaborate with the international REDD+ community and look for ways to push the REDD+ agenda ahead together.

The conference kicks off Tuesday morning with a welcome by Norway’s new Minister of Climate and the Environment, Tine Sundtoft.  Day one will begin with two plenary sessions before dividing into streams – The Landscape Approach, REDD+ Relevant Commodity Supply Chains; and Analysis, Concept and Methodology Development.  Day two will start with more parallel sessions, including Flory Botamba’s participation in the panel, “Improving national systems for REDD+ monitoring and MRV – from national to the community level,” and finish up with a plenary session on looking ahead and the way forward for REDD+.

In particular, we are very excited to be part of the meeting’s REDD Results Bar, where 15 organizations and projects have been  selected to  present results  and lessons learned from their work carried out with Norad/NICFI support. We’ll use this opportunity to connect with diverse REDD+ practitioners and to highlight some of our recent publications, including:



  

 / ©: Huyen Nguyen/Oslo REDD Exchange - by permission
The Oslo REDD Exchange is giving practitioners from around the world access to the latest REDD+ experiences and knowledge.
 / ©: Breen Byrnes/WWF
 WWF REDD+ specialist, Lloyd Gamble (right), shares experiences with a participant of the Oslo REDD Exchange at WWF's Results Bar booth, at which WWF presented key lessons learned from its Norad-funded REDD+ programme.
 / ©: Breen Byrnes/WWF
Participants at this week's Oslo REDD Exchange have the opportunity to visit the city's beautiful harbor.

REDD+ at UNFCCC Bonn meeting (3-14 June 2013)

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WWF's Forest and Climate team is attending the UNFCCC Bonn meeting from June 3rd to the 14th. Look out regularly for new posts from our experts.

8 June 2013: Bonn climate change meeting

It has been an interesting week at the Bonn climage change meeting. IISD Reporting Service has produced this news round-up of REDD+ related news at the meeting, which features WWF's Josefina Brana-Varela.

ENB VIDEO: In the Corridors at the Bonn Climate Change Conference Day 5 from IISD Reporting Services on Vimeo.

 / ©: Josefina Brana-Varela
REDD+ practitioners pose wearing "red" with Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC in Bonn.

4 June 2013: Bonn climate change meeting

Post by: Josephina Brana-Varela, WWF Forest and Climate Initiative, Director of Policy
 
SBSTA opened on Monday, with most of opening statements from negotiation groups mentioning REDD+! Parties are working in full-speed mode, since after the morning plenary the first REDD+ contact group had its first session. As it is the agreement, this first session was open to CSO observers, so WWF was present in the room to hear how the Chair and Parties proposed to work in the next couple of weeks.
 
The Chair’s Plan is quite ambitious, since he proposed to address all seven issues on the REDD+ agenda. The majority of Parties acknowledged his plan and agree to work together to make progress; however, some Parties mention the need to prioritize the issues that have been mandated since Cancun and Doha and that haven’t been closed yet. Also, there was consensus in the group on the importance of closing these topics in this session: National Forest Monitoring Systems, MRV and Reference Levels. The Chair also announced that the REDD+ informal contact group will be having daily meetings until Saturday, while a room and facilitation support will be provided in addition, so Parties can work in drafting text during the evenings. The order for discussing the issues is: safeguards (Tuesday); non-carbon benefits and drivers of deforestation and degradation (Wednesday); non-market based approaches (Thursday). Immediately after the first session, the group transitioned to an informal session to discuss the issue of Reference Levels.
 
Today, the group met in the morning to discuss the time and frequency for presenting the information on how Parties are addressing and respecting the safeguards, as well as the need for further guidance for REDD+ countries regarding the Safeguards Information Systems.  During the evening session, they did their first attempt to come to an agreement on the issue of Verification.
 
Parties have been very constructive and open for discussion, so we are up to a great start of works here in SBSTA38!
 
 / ©: Brent Stirton / Getty Images
© Brent Stirton / Getty Images

Day 1: Bonn climate change meeting

Monday, June 3, 2013

Post by: Josephina Brana-Varela, WWF Forest and Climate Initiative, Director of Policy
 
Today marks the start of the UNFCCC Bonn meeting and two weeks full of work, in particular for REDD+. REDD+ negotiators will have to sort out how to organize work in SBSTA around the seven issues on the agenda, while at the same time prepare to attend two in-session workshops and start the SBSTA/SBI joint process. The in-session workshop on the need to improve the coordination of support for the implementation of REDD+ will be held on Friday, June 7th, while COP’s work program workshop has changed dates and it will be held now on Monday, June 10.
 
A very busy week awaits, and we can only hope that the SBSTA chair allocates enough time to REDD+ deliberations so that Parties can work and show commitment to achieve great progress in this session in the form of decisions ready to be adopted in Warsaw at COP 19.
 
This is my fourth time attending UNFCCC’s negotiations in Bonn.  However, this time will be different from my previous participations, since for the first time I am attending as a yellow badge, as part of WWF’s delegation along with the civil society organizations. Previously I attended as part of Mexico's official delegation.  I am very excited to work to advance REDD+ from a different angle!
 
 / ©: Josefina Brana Varela
Josefina Brana-Varela, is the Policy Director of WWF's international Forest and Climate Initiative. A former member of Mexico's government delegation to UNFCCC meetings, this is the first time that she will be representing civil society, and is excited to do so. Her focus at the meeting will be on supporting the advancement of REDD+ and REDD+ related issues.

Pre-Bonn Climate Change Meeting: Expectations for REDD+

Posted by: Forest and Climate team

If we are to limit the global temperature rise to 2°C, we must have an effective REDD+ mechanism in place. Why? Because deforestation and forest degradation account for nearly 20% of global carbon emissions -- more than the total global transport indutry. Fighting deforestation and forest degradation is a key to fighting climate change.

For this reason, WWF is calling on Parties to the UN Convention on Climate Change  attending the Bonn meeting, and COP 19 in Warsaw later this year, to achieve an "integrated, ambitious package of REDD+ elements" in line with the Bali Action Plan, the Cancun Agreements and the Durban Platform. 
 
Visit our Climate Negotiations page to read WWF's full expectations paper on REDD+ and to learn more about the specific details of WWF's REDD+ policy positions. 
 / ©: unfccc
 UNFCCC Bonn climate change meeting

REDD+ at UNFCCC-COP18: Doha, Qatar

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Monday, November 18, 2012
This year, WWF's Forest and Climate team will be blogging about key REDD+ issues in the run-up to, during and post UNFCCC-COP18. Look out regularly for new posts!

COP18 Wraps Up: REDD+ remains at a crossroads

Negotiators took a pass on finalizing key elements of an international mechanism to reduce emissions from tropical deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) – the second largest source of emissions that cause climate change -- at the recently concluded UN climate change meeting in Doha.

Read the full news coverage here.
 / ©: WWF/Bruce Cabarle
REDD+ readiness successes were showcased with strong support at COP18 despite the lack of forward motion on a formal REDD+ mechanism.

Day 9: UNFCCC-COP18

The new report, REDD+ for People and Nature: Case study of an integrated approach to REDD+ readiness in Mai-Ndombe, Democratic Republic of Congo, that was produced jointly by WWF's Forest and Climate Initiative and the Government of DRC was realeased today at UNFCCC-COP18 by N’Sa Mputu Elima Bavon, Minister of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Tourism for the DRC. The launch took place at an event announcing DRC's new National REDD+ Trust Fund. Read more here.
 / ©: WWF/Bruce Cabarle
WWF's REDD+ Case Study of Mai-Ndombe, DRC is released at UNFCCC-COP18.

Day 8: UNFCCC-COP18

 It was a roller-coaster weekend for REDD+ here in Doha. After strong draft text came out of SBSTA that laid out a nice road map for REDD+, hopes were high that maybe, just maybe REDD+ might get the push it needed. But, conflict suddenly arose between donor countries, led by Norway, which wanted independent emissions verification. Developing countries, led by Brazil, balked and stood firm on national verification. The result... no decision could be made and SBSTA agreed to renew discussions at their next meeting in June.  Read more about this in ClimateWire's coverage featuring WWF Forest and Climate Initiative Leader Bruce Cabarle.
 / ©: WWF/Jennifer Ferguson-Mitchell
Bruce Cabarle, Leader of WWF's international Forest and Climate Initiative

Day 5: UNFCCC-COP18

November 29th, 2012 -- It was a good day for REDD+ at UNFCCC-COP today. SBSTA's draft text showed unanticipated progress on REDD+ and included coordinated and comprehensive agreement on key REDD+ issues. 
 
The text should have been finalized on Friday, but we are now hearing that they missed the deadline to get the text translated, meaning that the text may not be finalized until Saturday. 

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.

SBSTA co-chair Peter Graham deserves applauds for his good work at pulling this important text together, which lays 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+.

Read the full news story here.
 / ©: WWF/Julie Pudlowski
 

Day 4: UNFCCC-COP18

Indigenous groups from across Latin America today showcased their REDD+ efforts. The group highlighted that of the 800 million hectares of the Amazon Basin, the most important and strategic biome in the planet, nearly 200 million hectares are titled in the name of Indigenous Peoples – representing a globally significant 12% of the world’s tropical forests. In addition, the group noted that indigenous REDD+ pilot projects encompass more than four million hectares of the Amazon. WWF's Bruce Cabarle, Leader of the Forest and Climate Initiative, spoke at the official COP18 side event. Read more about this event here.
 / ©: WWF/Jennifer Ferguson-Mitchell
 Representatives from five Latin American countries took part in the COP-18 side event.

Day 3: UNFCCC-COP18

November 28th, 2012 -- It was a busy day for WWF's REDD+ in Doha at UNFCCC-COP18. The rest of the team landed in Qatar and hit the ground running. Bruce Cabarle, Leader of the Forest and Climate Initiative arrived and immediately started networking with partners and preparing to participate in several official events. Hermine Kleymann and Fobissie Kalame flew in from Cameroon to bring their perspectives and expertise to the meeting, and I (Jennifer Ferguson-Mitchell) arrived from DC to start communicating our REDD+ objectives and efforts. 

These team members joined Mads Lie from WWF-Norway and John O. Niles from WWF-US who had been onsite at the meeting since the weekend. 

The team is enthusiastic and prepared to harness the full potential that this COP can bring. Expectations are lower than in past years going into the meeting, but we remain optimistic that REDD+ negotiators and Parties will not lose momentum on REDD+, and will take some key decisions needed to address outstanding REDD+ issues. Support for REDD+ seems to be brewing at this meeting...we will have to see.
 / ©: WWF/Jennifer Ferguson-Mitchell
 A giant spider sculpture greets participants of UNFCCC-COP18 at the Qatar Conference Center in Doha.

Day 1: UNFCCC-COP18

WWF-Norway's Mads Lie reports:
Leaders from all 194 UN-countries are gathered here in Doha for COP18 to discuss how we can work together to reduce global CO2 emissions and reduce the increasing pressure on nature, people and society caused by climate change. 

WWF is here to work as an NGO and in different ways put pressure on countries, delegates and negotiators and represent civil society in the best possible way. We will report what we see, analyze, comment and ensure that WWF's message reaches people both here at the Doha negotiations and the world's remote corners. 
 
WWF is supporting several indigenous organizations during the negotiations and helping them to spread their REDD+ messages and to share their REDD+ experiences and advice from the grassroots movements of Brazil, Peru, Indonesia and DR Congo out to delegates here in Doha and to the world. Indigenous people and people from communities where the effects of climate change, deforestation and constant pressure on the environment is a reality, has a very important role to play in these negotiations and it is important that their voices are heard. 
 
To quote the Secretary of the UNFCCC, Christiana Figueres, which at the moment is giving her opening speech to the delegates in Doha, “All UN climate summits have their own frames and live their own lives, and one cannot predict where the next two weeks will lead us.”

It's still early on the first day here in Doha and it will be incredibly exciting to see where we will be and what kind of impression and feeling one is left with at the end of these two weeks. We hope for a victory for the climate, people and nature that ensures the global climate welfare for generations to come.
 
 
 / ©: Mads Lie
 Mads Lie of WWF-Norway attends UNFCCC-COP18 in Doha, Qatar.

Pre-COP: Setting the Path for REDD+ Success

November 26th, 2012 -- REDD+ is a leading area of consensus within the global climate debate but remains at a crossroads. It has taken longer to finalize than originally anticipate, yet, no other single mechanism has ever before mobilized this scale of political attention and financial resources for tropical forest conservation, nor had the potential for even greater conservation outcomes, as has REDD+. It will certainly be a defining moment for conservation when REDD+ is realized. But, if REDD+ treads off its path, it could be one of the greatest lost opportunities for tropical forest conservation in our generation, and would make limiting the global temperature rise to 2°C impossible.

For these reasons, we must continue to take and call for strong action in support of REDD+.
 
This week, government representatives from around the world will gather in Doha, Qatar for UNFCCC-COP18.  WWF’s REDD+ team will be there, advocating on key issues of Finance, Reference Levels and MRV. As part of this, WWF is calling on Parties to UNFCCC to: 
 
  • Decide how REDD+ negotiations will continue under UNFCCC. The LCA’s mandate finishes in Doha and Parties must decide the nature and form of REDD+ under a future platform (either the ADP or SBI). 
  • Urgently scale up ambition to support REDD+. Parties must make concrete commitments for additional short-term REDD+ finance beyond existing fast start funding for the period until 2020 when a new agreement is to be in place, and clearly demonstrate how to meet the financing needs for all phases of REDD+. Parties should also focus on the elaboration of results-based payments for carbon and non-carbon values, and the integration of REDD+ within the broader finance discussions including the NAMA registry, the Work Program on Long Term Finance, the Standing Committee on Finance, and the Green Climate Fund.
  • Establish robust forest monitoring systems. One of the defining features of REDD+ is that it is a performance-based mechanism. Donor countries provide finance in the expectation that tropical forest emissions will be mitigated. In Doha, Parties need to agree on the rules that enable developing countries to accurately account for emissions reductions from deforestation, forest degradation and enhancement of forest carbon stocks. This includes providing guidance for forest monitoring systems, guidelines for measurement reporting and verification of emissions reductions and a decision on the assessment process for forest reference levels.
  • Agree a way forward for REDD+. After Doha, Parties will begin negotiating a future climate treaty that includes both developed and developing country Parties under a single umbrella. While REDD+ can move ahead in the interim period as a voluntary mechanism, Parties need to create a space within the negotiations of the Durban Platform that establishes a fully integrated mechanism for deforestation in developing countries.
For more information on WWF’s expectations for REDD+ at UNFCCC-COP18, visit here.

-- The WWF Forest and Climate Team
 / ©: Qatar
UNFCCC-COP18 in Doha, Qatar.

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