UNEP-WCMC Publishes Briefing on Forest Restoration and REDD

January 2010: The UN Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) has published a briefing on the implications of the negotiations on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD) for forest restoration. Prepared by Lera Miles, the briefing provides an update on negotiations under the UNFCCC, noting that the expansion of the REDD concept to REDD+ (including conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks) provides an opportunity for carbon-focused forest restoration efforts.

The publication focuses on dry forest restoration in Mexico, Chile and Argentina, and presents the negotiating positions of these countries. It further highlights challenges and opportunities for forest restoration, noting that compared to tropical moist forests, dry forest ecosystems risk being perceived as not being especially valuable for carbon storage, and thus not a target for REDD+ efforts. The briefing suggests that, of the intergovernmental funds supporting REDD+ readiness and pilot activities, the UN-REDD Programme appears more likely to support forest restoration than the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF).

The author calls for conservation professionals to provide strong feedback if national negotiating positions and REDD+ policy frameworks prove prejudicial to biodiversity conservation, and  provides guidance on assessing the viability of forest restoration proposals under REDD+. [The Briefing]