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ITTC-45 Pledges US$575,000 to Thematic Programme on REDD and Environmental Services, Discusses UNFCCC Forest-Related Developments

thematic-programme-on-redd16 November 2009: The 45th session of the International Tropical Timber Council (ITTC-45) and the associated sessions of its four Committees were held in Yokohama, Japan, from 9-14 November 2009.

During the session, donors pledged an additional US$575,000 to its Thematic Programme on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) and enhancing environmental services in tropical forests (REDDES), bringing the total pledge to this Thematic Programme to US$4.4 million since its pilot phase was initiated in 2008.

Also during the session, Jürgen Blaser, International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) consultant, reported on developments within the UNFCCC regarding REDD and their implications for tropical forests and tropical timber producers. He noted differences in terminology that have arisen, including ITTO's use of “sustainable forest management,” as opposed to “sustainable management of forests” under the UNFCCC. He identified other key technical issues such as reference levels, additionality, monitoring, reporting and verification, leakage and permanence. He noted ITTO's work on forest restoration, tropical timber production forests as carbon reservoirs, and the REDDES Thematic Programme. He called for strengthening ITTC's capacity to participate in the UNFCCC process to ensure that its experience is included in discussions on REDD and for further developing REDDES.

In the ensuing comments, some countries cautioned against overlaps, duplications and conflicts between different instruments with regard to climate change. Brazil recommended limiting ITTO's role to reporting on UNFCCC-related negotiations. The US emphasized that climate change negotiations do not affect the core work and relevance of the ITTO on slowing deforestation and furthering sustainable forest management. [IISD RS Coverage of ITTC-45][ITTO Press Release]