Conserving natural carbon sinks/REDD+

Video: The funding area "Conserving natural carbon sinks/REDD+" in a nutshell

In the funding area "Conserving natural carbon sinks/REDD+", the International Climate Initiative (IKI) supports partner countries in particular in implementing the international mechanism for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD +) as well as projects to support the approach of forest and landscape restoration “FLR” as part of the Bonn Challenge. By the end of 2017, more than 100 projects had been approved in this area.

In this respect, the IKI focuses on the implementation of national REDD + and FLR strategies, especially within the framework of an implementation of the NDCs, focusing in particular on the support of sustainable business models and the mobilization of private investments.Synergies between forest protection and conservation of biological diversity play an important role here along with emissions reductions and adaptation to the impacts of climate change. Insights from IKI projects serve as an impetus for international policy discussions and negotiations, particularly within the context of the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) as well as for international initiatives such as the REDD+ Partnership. Experience collected through IKI projects also feeds into multilateral REDD+ initiatives such as the World Bank's Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), co-funded by Germany and the World Bank's BioCarbon Fund.

Increasingly important is the support of countries in the preparation of project pipelines in the area of Forest and Landscape Restoration/REDD+ for the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

In addition to its focus on REDD+, the IKI finances activities aimed at emissions reductions and carbon sequestration in other ecosystems not covered by the REDD+ mechanism, for example marshes, boreal forests and savannahs.

REDD+ mechanism - keeping forests intact for climate change mitigation

Forests - particularly tropical forests - store vast quantities of carbon. Deforestation and unsustainable use of forests lead to this stored carbon being released as CO2 into the atmosphere, thereby contributing to global climate change. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the resulting greenhouse gas emissions constitute 17 per cent of total global man-made emissions.

REDD+ is an international climate change mitigation mechanism developed within the UNFCCC. The basic idea is to provide compensatory payments to developing countries that are able to demonstrate reductions in deforestation or in degradation of their forests. The REDD+ mechanism encompasses three phases and numerous developing and newly-industrialised countries are currently in the first phase, the Readiness phase, during which national REDD+ strategies are drawn up. During the second phase these strategies are implemented by development of institutional and technical capacities. In the third phase, the REDD+ countries receive payments for actual demonstrated emissions reductions caused by forest preservation and rehabilitation.

The IKI contributes to designing the REDD+ mechanism, particularly by fostering innovative solutions for implementing REDD+ strategies (Phase 2). In this way, the IKI supports partner countries in expanding their REDD+ activities into a results-based REDD+ system. Emphasis is placed, among other things, on the following themes: national systems of minimum ecological and social standards (safeguards); measuring, reporting and verification (MRV) of changes in carbon content of forests; baselines for determining rates of deforestation and forest degradation; and coordination of REDD+ activities and related policy fields. In addition to activities aimed at preserving existing forests, the IKI also promotes the rehabilitation of forest landscapes and helps its partners to identify and limit the causes of deforestation and forest degradation.

There is a broad array of specific support measures for IKI financed projects, which extends from the implementation of demonstration projects to the development of technical and institutional capacity, policy advisory services and technical expertise, to effective investment in the forest sector and support in the exchange of information and experiences.

Selected Projects:

Tropical forest conservation and sustainable community development in the Sierra del Lacandón National Park (Guatemala)

Ecological and social standards and additional benefits of carbon sequestration

Within international discourse, the protection of biological diversity is seen as one of the most important additional benefits of REDD+. In order to increase these types of co-benefits, corresponding criteria should be integrated into REDD+ strategies. At the same time, ecological and social safeguards must be established in order to prevent negative impacts from REDD+ measures and to protect the rights and participation of local and indigenous communities. The IKI therefore supports projects that develop, implement and monitor such safeguards, as well as promote co-benefits.

Selected projects:

Bonn Challenge: restoring forest landscapes

In many countries, deforestation and degradation of natural forest ecosystems result in a marked decrease of ecosystem services such as water and carbon storage or erosion protection. Measures to restore forests thus offer many benefits: climate change mitigation, preservation of biodiversity and support for sustainable development.

It was against this backdrop in September 2011 that the Bonn Challenge was launched at an inter-ministerial conference co-hosted by the German Federal Government and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The participating states have set the target of restoring 150 million hectares of deforested and degraded areas by 2020, and 350 million hectares by 2030. Since then, efforts to rehabilitate and restore forests have intensified. Many countries have now agreed to participate in the Bonn Challenge. The pledges made in 2017 by governments and the private sector for reconstruction already total more than 150 million hectares.

The International Climate Initiative supports projects that test innovative approaches to restoring forest ecosystems and develops measures and financing instruments designed to optimise the broadest possible dissemination of these approaches.

Selected Projects:

Monitoring, reporting and verifying REDD+

Since international climate negotiations were initiated, considerable attention has been given to the question of how to monitor, report and verify the reduction in greenhouse gases (MRV). The term MRV comprises the monitoring of data on mitigation measures and greenhouse gas emissions, the processing of this information into reports and inventories, and the verification of data in an international process. The development of MRV systems and application of MRV requirements represent considerable challenges for emerging economies and developing countries, who must assume responsibility for collecting the necessary data and producing greenhouse gas inventories, emission projections and economic analyses.

However, the absence of adequate political guidelines and national standards means that in many countries sub-national initiatives are developing their own reference levels and monitoring systems. These different sub-national approaches must now be incorporated into national REDD+ monitoring systems. For some time now, countries have to report every two years to the UNFCCC on emissions, including forest and land use.

During the climate negotiations in Durban 2011 rules were defined for the monitoring of REDD+ safeguards, for example to protect the rights of indigenous peoples or conserve biodiversity.

In this context, the IKI provides targeted support to projects that help the partner countries to plan and implement mitigation actions and ensure these actions will be MRV-compatible under a future international climate agreement. The focus lies on South-South cooperation projects that develop methods for monitoring GHGs and safeguards under REDD+

Selected projects:

Further Information

Conservation, Restoration and Sustainable Use of Natural Carbon Sinks – REDD+

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