This plenary session, co-hosted by CIFOR and the UN-REDD Programme, provides an opportunity to discuss the vital role of forests in mitigating climate change through the international mechanism of REDD+, which came into existence over a decade ago.
Forests offer the most immediate and cost-effective solution to curb climate change at scale, since halting and reversing deforestation could deliver up to 30 per cent of the climate solution. Under the Paris Agreement, starting in 2020, all countries have agreed to reduce their emissions according to national targets they’ve set for themselves, known as nationally determined contributions (NDCs). REDD+ is one avenue to help them fulfill their NDCs.
The first part of this joint session will explore the trajectory of REDD+ over the past 10 years (from theory to implementation) and discuss how different stakeholders are working together now to implement REDD+ across different scales (national, subnational, local levels). It will discuss how best to enable policymakers, experts and civil society groups, including indigenous rights organizations, to scale up their actions in forest protection and restoration. This work, along with restoration of degraded ecosystems on a massive scale, is among the commitments from the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration that begins in 2021.
Launched in 2008, the UN-REDD Programme supports 65 partner countries with technical assistance, capacity-building and policy advice to help them access REDD+ financing. It is the first joint global initiative of the United Nations on climate change and builds on the convening role and technical expertise of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment). The first panel discussion in this joint session will feature the voices of some of its key partner countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including Viet Nam, Myanmar, and Malaysia. A prominent youth voice from Indonesia will open this segment with a personal testimony of the importance of forests for planet and people.
In the second part of this joint session, we will zoom in on the subnational level where, across the tropics, many provincial- and district-level governments are advancing jurisdictional approaches to REDD+ and low emissions development. A recent study by Earth Innovation Institute, CIFOR and the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force on jurisdictional approaches by 39 states and provinces in 12 tropical countries highlights the clear need for further private investment to support progress underway. Although the jurisdictional approach concept is increasingly being adopted by key supply chain companies (e.g., Unilever, Mars), platforms (Consumer Goods Forum/Tropical Forest Alliance), and initiatives (e.g., Cocoa and Forests Initiative), there are still barriers to private-public partnerships that must be resolved, including questions about cultivating meaningful partnerships with subnational stakeholders and operationalizing preferential sourcing and investment at jurisdictional scales. The second panel in the joint session will feature sustainability professionals, private sector representatives and researchers working to advance public-private partnerships through jurisdictional approaches in the tropics.