What is REDD+?
REDD+ is shorthand for ‘Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation’. The concept of REDD+ originated in discussions among signatories to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This mechanism – which is continually evolving – creates a financial value for the carbon stored in forests by offering incentives for developing countries to avoid emissions and invest in low-carbon paths to sustainable development. In other words, REDD+ is designed to reward governments and communities for keeping their forests standing and intact.
It is estimated that deforestation and forest degradation may account for up to 25% of global carbon emissions. Even the most conservative estimates put the figure at 15%. Either way, this represents a significant contribution to global warming and, as such, warrants close attention in any serious discussions on the most effective ways to minimise the impacts of climate change.
How does REDD+ work?
REDD+ gives forests a dollar value based on how much carbon they contain, and the money generated from the sale of so-called carbon credits (basically, permits to emit a defined amount of carbon) is reinvested in the communities that have elected not to destroy their forests.
This has the double benefit of preventing the release of more so-called greenhouse gases while simultaneously safeguarding the forest biodiversity and ecosystem services on which local communities – and ultimately all of us – depend for survival.
Top down & bottom up
REDD+ is being developed through a combination of top-down (jurisdictional) approaches, spearheaded by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the national governments that have signed up to the treaty, allied with bottom-up, project-based initiatives that focus on forest areas under threat. Top-down or jurisdictional approaches to REDD+ architecture need to be matched against grounded lessons from real-world projects around the globe; both levels are critical for REDD+ to be effective.
Fauna & Flora & REDD+
Fauna & Flora has been at the forefront of REDD+ efforts on the ground for well over a decade. We occupy the niche that plays to our strengths in working alongside our partners – including investors, national and sub-national governments, local NGOs, Indigenous Peoples and communities – to develop practical conservation solutions.
Our interventions build on a long history of cooperation with host country partners, enabling Fauna & Flora to develop innovative and high-quality REDD+ initiatives. We are always responsive to local needs, tailoring our approach to the specific demands of a particular location.