Saturday, December 12, 2009

More of the green stuff wanted


Everyone loves trees. A lot of people think that climate change could be mitigated if we cut fewer of them down and left more standing.

Over the last few years, around the edges of the struggling climate change discussions, one of few areas of agreement has been on the merits of slowing down the rates of deforestation, and the costs of doing so. The Prince's Rainforest Project has been doing some important work in crystallising discussion around the sums of money needed to kick-start interim finance. So there are high hopes that some kind of agreement can come out of Copenhagen on forestry.

Against this backdrop, the Centre for International Forestry Research, has held a series of forest discussion days at the sidelines of climate change meetings of the last few years. One at Bali, one at Poznan and one at Copenhagen. Tomorrow is Forest Day 3. I will be chairing a subplenary on Mitigation.

"2009 is possibly the most important year for forests in living memory. We are in the final stretch of the road to Copenhagen, and COP 15, where negotiators expect to finalise a post-Kyoto global climate agreement in December. To coincide with the conference, CIFOR, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) and the Government of Denmark will host Forest Day 3. Forest Day 3 will build on the success of Forest Day 1 and 2 in helping to ensure forests are high on the agenda for future climate outcomes, and will pave the way forward in making these outcomes work beyond Copenhagen." Full Programme.

Forest Day 3 will be held on 13 December at the Radisson Blu Falconer Hotel & Conference Center, Copenhagen, Denmark.


11.00 – 12.45

Falconer Room

World Agroforestry Centre

Carbon emissions from land-use change are estimated to account for one-fifth of current global carbon emissions. Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) has been promoted as an effective and efficient climate change mitigation option. Much of the debate has focused on the global architecture and how REDD+ can be included in a post-2012 climate agreement. Now is the time to increase the focus on national and local levels where the forests are found. The success of REDD+ in reducing emissions will depend on tackling profound market and governance failures. REDD+ policies must strengthen the institutional alignment of economic actors and the public interest, a challenge made more difficult by the complexity of the issues behind deforestation and the fact that many causes are external to the forest sector. Can this really be done? How do we introduce a transitional change instead of incremental improvements? Are global players and mechanisms up to the task? What about the resistance in countries and local communities? This subplenary will debate these controversial issues, seek answers to these questions and look to designing national REDD+ strategies that ensure climate-effective and cost-efficient reduction of carbon emissions with equitable impacts and co-benefits.

Natasha Loder, The Economist


  • Arild Angelsen, Professor, Norwegian University of Life Sciences
  • Vicky Corpuz, Executive Director and Chair, United Nations Permanent Forum for Indigenous People
  • Sara S. Kendall, Vice President of Environment, Health and Safety, Weyerhaeuser Company
  • Agus Purnomo, Head of Secretariat, National Council on Climate Change, Indonesia