Oslo REDD Exchange Underscores Need to Embed REDD+ into Broader Climate Architecture and Development Initiatives
The Oslo REDD Exchange was a crucial opportunity for more than 450 international participants from civil society, government, the private business sector and academia to come together and share experiences and to consider how these experiences can shape the way forward for REDD+. It was also an opportunity for participants to explore how the international community can collaborate on REDD+ in the run up to a 2015 climate agreement and UNFCCC-COP19 in Warsaw next month.
At the end of the meeting, a real-time vote by participants showed that the most necessary step for moving REDD+ ahead is an international climate agreement, along with enough political will to make that happen. But the conference also underscored the importance of looking at REDD+ as part of a larger whole. Discussions on finance, jurisdictional approaches and methodology development highlighted the complexity of the REDD+ process, particularly in incorporating much broader issues than simply reducing carbon – including indigenous rights, gender issues, forest-agriculture linkages and low-carbon development planning.
“Until now, REDD+ has been able to advance as a somewhat isolated topic, and has moved ahead faster than some of the other convention discussions. However, we have reached a point where REDD+ needs to be embedded in the broader climate architecture,” said Josefina Braña Varela, Policy Director for WWF’s Forest and Climate Programme, and REDD+ specialist on WWF’s UNFCCC team.
While we know that a new paradigm of protection and sustainable use of forest requires an extraordinary effort on local and global levels, the Oslo REDD Exchange was an opportunity to see that as part of a holistic approach to climate change, REDD+ can be successful. As REDD+ experts and practitioners, including many of whom attended the Oslo REDD Exchange, are turning their attention to the upcoming UNFCCC-COP19 in Warsaw, now is the critical time to work towards integrating REDD+ into the broader climate picture.
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