Photo: Thomas Marent
Who are our cooperation partners?
THE UN: has established the UN-REDD Programme (Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries) to coordinate UN activities in this field.
THE WORLD BANK: has established two programmes to assist developing countries in their efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. They are the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility and the Forest Investment Program.
THE CONGO BASIN FOREST FUND: this fund, which is hosted by the African development Bank, supports conservation and sustainable use of the forests of the Congo basin.
THE INTERNATIONAL TROPICAL TIMBER
ORGANIZATION: has established a new programme for reducing deforestation and forest degradation and enchancing environmental services in tropical forests (REDDES).
BRAZIL’S AMAZON FUND: will provide grants for projects that support the Brazilian authorities’ efforts to reduce deforestation. All payments to the fund will be linked to performance, in other words to how far Brazil has managed to reduce emissions due to deforestation and forest degradation.
TANZANIA: Norway is providing bilateral support for Tanzania’s efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and Tanzania is also included in the UN and World Bank programmes.
Why are tropical forests so important for the global climate?
When tropical forests are destroyed, we lose the rich plant and animal life they support. But deforestation may also have catastrophic effects on the global climate.
Trees absorb large quantities of carbon during photo-synthesis. Felling or burning forests releases carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, leading to global warming and climate change. We are likely to see drought and flooding, poorer harvests, water shortages and growing numbers of refugees driven from the worst hit areas.
Forests are vanishing rapidly. About 130 000 km2 – roughly the size of England – is lost every year. The loss of these forests generates almost a fifth of all the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, more than the total emitted by cars, boats, buses and planes.
If we are to have any chance of curbing global warming and avoiding the most serious impacts of rising temperatures, we must save the world’s tropical forests.
Why are the forests vanishing?
Developing countries with large areas of forest have to deal with numerous challenges. Many of the inhabitants are poor, and wars and internal conflicts take their toll. Poor governance is a common problem. Illegal logging and extraction of resources from forests is widespread. Ownership and user rights to forested land are often unclear.
Millions of people live in or near forests and depend on them for their livelihood; others use them commercially. Local people need timber for fuel and land to grow crops. And forests are cleared and the timber sold to make way for industrial soya and oil palm plantations or commercial cattle ranching.
How can we curb the loss of forests?
First of all, it must be financially worthwhile for public authorities, businesses and small farmers to leave forests standing rather than clear them. Patterns of use can be changed, but it will be a challenging task.
Governments in developing countries need to gather information on how forests are being used and look at the legal framework in order to identify changes that would encourage more sustainable use.
Developing countries can play an important part in mitigating climate change by reducing forest loss. The rich countries must be prepared to meet the costs of this through an international system that pays developing countries to preserve their forests.
The idea is that if developing countries can produce reliable documentation that they have reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, they will be eligible for payments. This should be a way of protecting the world’s tropical forests and limiting global warming, and at the same time giving developing countries opportunities for promoting sustainable economic development and fighting poverty.
Photo: Tom Schandy
What is REDD?
REDD is an acronym for “reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries”.
REDD is a key element in the negotiations on a new post 2012 international climate regime. By including REDD in this regime, the world will be able to reward developing countries that reduce emissions by curbing the loss of forests. Global agreement on this is an important goal
Ministry of the Environment
P.O.Box 8013 Dep, N-0030 Oslo
Visiting address: Myntgata 2
Tel: 22 24 58 03
Fax: 22 24 95 60
Internet: http://miljo.no or