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Brazil Voluntarily Submits Key Data on Emission Reductions in Forest Sector

brazil-unfccc6 June 2014: Brazil submitted information and data on its greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions in the forest sector to the UNFCCC Secretariat, becoming the first developing country to voluntarily submit such data for assessment by technical experts. This information and data form the basis for Brazil's forest reference emission level (FREL) for the Amazon biome, where Brazil has been collecting forest data since 1988. 

Brazilian Head of Delegation, Minister Raphael Azeredo, presented his country's submission to UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres on the sidelines of the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany. Azeredo said that REDD+ is key to unlocking the forest mitigation potential in many developing countries and urged developed countries “to demonstrate their engagement with REDD+ by scaling up financial support for results-based actions.” Figueres said the submission further signals countries' commitments to “address the drivers of climate change at the domestic level ahead of the new universal climate agreement in Paris in 2015.”

Louis Verchot, climate scientist, the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), said countries that lack the capacity to undertake FREL calculations could still follow Brazil's lead and apply “a stepwise approach to measuring emissions using available information and improving measurements as they build capacity.”

Deforestation accounts for more than 20% of global carbon dioxide emissions, making action on forests critical, according to the UNFCCC. At the UN Climate Change Conference in Warsaw in November 2013, governments agreed on the Warsaw Framework for REDD+, a package of seven decisions, which include eligibility requirements, including reference levels, for accessing payments for REDD+ actions. Reference levels serve as benchmarks for assessing performance in the implementation of REDD+ activities.

Following the adoption of the Warsaw Framework, Brazil formed a technical group of scientists from universities, research institutes and government to calculate a reference emission level for Brazilian Amazonia. [UNFCCC Press Release] [Forests Climate Change News Story]