At the thirteenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP13) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Bali, Indonesia, Parties to the Convention decided to launch approaches to stimulate action to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (known as REDD) that entail methodological and policy approaches and positive incentives. Long considered “too hard” to include in the global climate protection regime, REDD is now squarely on the international agenda. And yet many difficult methodological and political issues remain to be overcome before agreement on REDD architecture at the global level is plausible.
A number of proposals for REDD design have now been advanced or are under development by individual countries or groupings, advocacy organizations, academics and others. The proposals differ along a number of dimensions, such as type of commitment (emission vs. cause-oriented), scale (national vs. project), financing (funds vs. market), determination of reference line (historical plus other factors). A further complicating factor is the huge variation across countries in forest cover information and monitoring systems. This diversity has implications for the feasibility of various models, and may suggest the need for a small suite of REDD mechanisms.
The diverse set of REDD design proposals leads to a need by negotiators and other interested stakeholders for a clear and comprehensive review of the proposals and their implications, so that debates can be grounded in rigorous review and analysis.
In response to this need, CIFOR and its project partners ODI and IPAM have undertaken the collaborative research project, Integrating REDD in the Global Climate Protection Regime: Proposals and Implications, with funding from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. CIFOR and its partners will coordinate and contribute to the review and analysis of REDD between now and COP14 in Poznan, Poland in December 2008. The specific objectives of the effort are to ensure that the negotiating process leading to COP14 and COP 15 (to be held in Copenhagen in 2009) are informed by rigorous analysis of the implications of alternative REDD proposals, and that such analysis is in turn informed by a range of perspectives.
To assure that the project identifies key analysis within the REDD negotiation process, and to optimize collaboration across a diverse set of researchers, CIFOR’s strategy involves a number of stages. First, CIFOR convened a core group of partner organizations including IPAM (Brazil) and ODI (UK) and met during SB28 meeting in Bonn in early June 2008. Second, through a consultative workshop held in Tokyo on the 24th June 2008, a larger group of stakeholders was engaged to ensure that the design of the analytical effort tackles priority areas, is demand driven, and is additional to ongoing analytical initiatives. The third component involves commissioning a group of individual researchers to undertake specific pieces of analysis of key policy issues and their implications to future REDD architecture, as identified through CIFOR analysis and the Tokyo workshop. The outputs of this third component will be presented to inform COP 14 discussions.