EC Announces Communication on Deforestation and Climate Change

7 November 2008: At the 44th session of the International

Tropical Timber Council and the Associated Sessions of the four Committees

(Finance and Administration, Economic Information and Market Intelligence,

Forest Industry, and Reforestation and Forest Management), the European

Commission (EC) announced a communication on deforestation and climate change,

with the goal of informing the EU position at the upcoming climate change

negotiations in Poznan, Poland.

The communication, entitled “Addressing the

challenges of deforestation and forest degradation to tackle climate change and

biodiversity loss,” calls upon the EU to strengthen existing policies, pool

resources, act in a unified manner, and scale up financing. The EC proposes

that in the UNFCCC negotiations on the future climate regime, the EU aims to

halt global forest cover loss by 2030 at the latest and to reduce gross

tropical deforestation by at least 50% by 2020 compared to current levels. It

further suggests that a funding instrument, the Global Forest Carbon Mechanism,

be established to stem deforestation and forest degradation. Mechanism

participants would include developing countries that have ratified a future

climate agreement.

The Mechanism would support capacity-building initiatives,

aim to secure co-benefits, protect the rights of forest-dependent communities,

and grant financial support on a performance basis. The communication also

calls for further examination of how deforestation can be included in carbon

markets. [The