Heads of State Pledge to Take Action on REDD

© UN-REDD23 September 2009: On the sidelines of the opening of the 64th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hosted a high-level event on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). Many Heads of State and government in attendance committed to take action on this issue.

Featuring 13 Heads of State and government and senior ministers, as well as the President of the World Bank, the event highlighted efforts undertaken so far to develop a formal framework for REDD. The Secretary-General commended the political leadership shown by developing countries in placing REDD on the global agenda, as well as the generous support provided by industrialized countries, highlighting REDD as a showcase for practical partnerships between developing and industrialized countries. During the event, Heads of State and government and ministers highlighted, inter alia, the need for: a cost-efficient and accurate standardized methodology for measuring avoided carbon emissions; scaling up current pilot projects into a global framework; financing from both public and private sources; a strong accountability framework; results-based economic incentives for avoided deforestation; and a flexible system to take diverse situations into account. Several Heads of State and government called for adequate funding to match the pledged commitment to take action.

During a press conference following the closure of the event, President of Guyana Bharrat Jagdeo, Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea Michael Somare, and Environmental Minister of the Republic of the Congo Henri Jombo stressed the importance of incorporating the REDD initiative into any agreement reached in Copenhagen. [Event website] [UN meeting coverage] [Press conference]