By Elizabeth Kahurani
According to Tony La Viña, a REDD+ facilitator at the United
Convention on Climate
Change Conference of Parties (UNFCCC COP 18) talks, a landscape approach holds
potential to unlock ambiguities and uncertainties that threaten to stall
implementation and scaling up of the REDD+ (Reducing emissions form Deforestation and
Forest Degradation) mechanism.
“We are looking at the new Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban
Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) process as the future frameworkPanelists at the private sector side event organized at the sidelines of COP 18 that will
merge REDD+, Agriculture, Land-Use Change and Forestry into a land use approach
that might make more sense with stronger signals,” Tony said while speaking at
an event organized to disseminate findings of a study on engagement of private
sector in REDD+ conducted by ASB
Partnership for the Tropical Forest Margins at the World Agroforestry Centre
(ASB-ICRAF) and the International Institute for
Sustainable Development (IISD). The event was co-organized with The International Emissions Trading Association
(IETA) at the margins of COP 18 in Doha, Qatar.
Tony’s views affirm ongoing
research on viable ways of Reducing
Emission from All Land Uses (REALU) that is being implemented by the ASB-ICRAF.
REALU is based on the premise that REDD+ is only effective to some extent as it
only addresses part of the total emissions from land-use change, and
implementation of the mechanism is challenged by issues to do with
measurements, monitoring, unclear forest definitions, leakage, respecting local
communities rights and equity.
One of the key outputs from this
research that is piloting landscape approaches demonstrations sites in the
Congo Basin, Latin America and Southeast Asia is a strategy on Land
Use Planning for Low Emission Development (LUWES) that has been applied in
Indonesia to provide a guide on multistakeholder participation and emission
reduction scenarios within specific zones of a landscape, or across an entire
Indeed, from debates and future
plans being discussed here at COP 18, a landscape approach seems to be the
future to REDD+. With the theme Sustaining
Landscapes, this will be the year when Forest Day transits from an
exclusive focus on forests to encompass other land uses. “Forest Day 6 will be
the last one that is organized during the UNFCCC COP. We are looking forward to
building on the Forest Day experience, joining forces with a wider range of
partners in agriculture and rural development, and holding a Landscape Day at
the UNFCCC COP next year,” notes Peter Holmgren, Director General at the Centre
for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).
Governments urged to mitigate REDD+ risks for private sector
At the side event, private sector
actors underscored the role of governments in boosting private sector
confidence by creating demand for REDD carbon credits and mitigating risk
levels. “REDD investment credit cycles take long before they develop to a grade
that investors want to buy. They require a lot of money and represent a huge
amount of risk. We in the private sector are looking to the governments as the
proxy for quality and assurance,” said Jonathan Shopley, Managing Director, The
CarbonNeutral Company. Similar sentiments were echoed by Armin Sanhoevel, CEO,
Allianz Climate Solutions GmbH.
Alfred Gichu, REDD+ focal point
in Kenya noted that while at the international level there was need to create
demand for the carbon market, the national governments need to have strategies
and policies in place. A key
recommendation from the private sector study was that governments should
encourage collaboration with private sector, provide proper governance
structure and conducive environment for REDD+ implementation.
“A conducive policy environment
would be one that addresses challenges to do with land tenure and carbon
ownership, legal basis for private investment as well as appropriate social and
environmental safeguards,” explains Florence Bernard, Programme Assosciate at
ASB Partnership who led the study on private sector engagement.
Further, she noted that the
benefits of involving the private sector as part of a solution to addressing
deforestation and degradation go beyond meeting the current climate-finance
gap, as they can also provide technical expertise, capacity building and technological
innovation. “The private sector can, be part of the solution to mitigating
climate change by addressing key drivers of deforestation,” Florence said.
With the title The Private Sector
in the REDD+ Supply Chain: Trends, challenges and opportunities, the new study highlights i) who
are the private actors, including their areas of strength and capabilities that
can be synergized to leverage on opportunities; and ii) Incentives needed to attract private sector engagement and
investment at scale. These are vital steps to harnessing the potential and
ability of the private sector in REDD+ efforts.
Read full private
sector study report
brief and Press
Watch Climate Change TV Interview here