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Domingo, 10 Julho 2016 21:00

REDD+ at COP-21 Destaque

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The 21st Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) came to an end last Saturday, 12 December, with the anticipated Paris Agreement. The document is the result of the consensus among 195 countries and the European Union about the necessity to face climate change in order to hold the increase in global temperatures to “well below” 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1,5°C. The agreed text brings two provisions on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks (REDD+), one on the decision and one on the Agreement: Paragraph 55 of the decision "55. Recognizes the importance of adequate and predictable financial resources, including for results-based payments, as appropriate, for the implementation of policy approaches and positive incentives for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks; as well as alternative policy approaches, such as joint mitigation and adaptation approaches for the integral and sustainable management of forests; while reaffirming the importance of non-carbon benefits associated with such approaches; encouraging the coordination of support from, inter alia, public and private, bilateral and multilateral sources, such as the Green Climate Fund, and alternative sources in accordance with relevant decisions by the Conference of the Parties;" Article 5 of the Agreement "1. Parties should take action to conserve and enhance, as appropriate, sinks and reservoirs of greenhouse gases as referred to in Article 4, paragraph 1(d), of the Convention, including forests. 2. Parties are encouraged to take action to implement and support, including through results-based payments, the existing framework as set out in related guidance and decisions already agreed under the Convention for: policy approaches and positive incentives for activities relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries; and alternative policy approaches, such as joint mitigation and adaptation approaches for the integral and sustainable management of forests, while reaffirming the importance of incentivizing, as appropriate, non-carbon benefits associated with such approaches." Another much welcomed provision comes from a decision regarding the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The text, on paragraph 23, urges the Fund’s Board to operationalize REDD+ results-based payments. That is considered a key move to drive REDD+ implementation in Brazil and worldwide. In addition to that, three decisions regarding REDD+ methodological aspects were approved. Their content was agreed during the 42nd session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), which took place in Bonn, Germany, in July 2015. The decisions addressed the last outstanding issues, so that there is no need for further guidance regarding REDD+ implementation. They refer to: 1. Safeguards: the draft decision defines that the existing framework of guidelines is sufficient for the full implementation of REDD+ activities.  2. Alternative Policy Approaches: the draft decision decides that donors may provide resources and technical support for such initiatives. Developing countries that wish to develop such activities will have access to UNFCCC online platform as a means to share their experiences and information. Joint Mitigation and Adaptation approaches for the integral and sustainable management of forests are examples of Alternative Policy Approach. 3. Non-carbon Benefits: the draft decision concludes that benefits unrelated to carbon do not constitute a requirement for developing countries to receive support for the implementation of REDD+ activities or to receive results-based payments. The countries are, however, encouraged to consider, evaluate and report on such benefits, where appropriate, in accordance with their national circumstances and capabilities. We will post the links to the relevant decisions as soon they are numbered and released by the UNFCCC.

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