News

UN Secretary-General Launches UN REDD Programme

Government trainees and forest workers make a tree inventory, Philippines 24 September 2008: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has

announced the launch of the United Nations' Reduced Emissions from

Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) Programme, which aims to combat

climate change through creating incentives to reverse deforestation trends.

The

programme aims to tip the fiscal balance in favor of sustainable forest

management and thereby simultaneously bringing economic benefits to

participating countries and contributing to significant reductions in

greenhouse gas emissions. The REDD Programme will be coordinated by the Food

and Agriculture Organization of the UN, the UN Development Programme and the UN

Environment Programme.

Noting that reducing deforestation in developing countries

is a key element in addressing climate change, Ban said the initiative is “a

concrete illustration of the UN system's commitment to provide coordinated

support to member States in responding to their climate change challenges.” The

Government of Norway has provided start-up financing with a contribution of

US$35 million. The nine countries to receive initial assistance are: Bolivia,

Democratic Republic of the Congo, Indonesia, Panama, Papua New Guinea,

Paraguay, Tanzania, Viet Nam and Zambia.

The Programme is part of an

international move to include REDD in the post-2012 climate regime. Also on the

sidelines of the opening of the UN General Assembly's General Debate, Ban met

with President Kaczynski of Poland, Prime Minister Rasmussen of Denmark and

Foreign Minister of Indonesia, Hassan Wirajuda – the current and future

presidencies of the UNFCCC Conference of Parties. He noted that the next

climate conference in December 2008 in Poznan, Poland, is “a crucial bridge to

Copenhagen.”

He indicated that consensus exists on the need for developed

countries to send a clear signal in Poznan that they are ready to fulfill their

responsibilities with regard to emissions reductions and financing to support

developing countries in tackling climate change. [UN

Press Release]