REDD AND CARBON MECHANISMSThe cover image is a photograph showing extensive illegal logging and deforestation, which has destroyedmany archaeo logical sites around the world, 2008 image courtesy of Google Earth Pro
OVERVIEWReducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) is an effort tocreate a financial value for the carbon stored in forests, offering incentives fordeveloping countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbonpaths to sustainable development. According to United nation’s REDD (Reducingemission from deforestation and forest degradation) program, deforestation and forestdegradation, through agricultural expansion, conversion to pastureland, infrastructu redevelopment, destructive logging, fires etc., account for nearly 20% of globalgreenhouse gas emissions, more than the entire global transportation sector and secondonly to the energy sector. It is now clear that in order to constrain the impacts ofclimate change within limits that society will reasonably be able to tolerate, the globalaverage temperatures must be stabilized within two degrees Celsius. This will bepractically impossible to achieve without reducing emissions from the forest sector, inaddition to other mitigation actions.(REDD+ includes deforestation and forest degradation, along with conservation,sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.)SCIENTIFIC BACKGROUNDPlants absorb carbon dioxide and use it to grow (carbon sequestration) by the process ofphotosynthesis, but when they decay or burn; carbon dioxide is released again into theatmosphere from where it was taken. Decaying plants also produce methane, a greenhouse gasmore potent than carbon dioxide (21 times more potent than of C02). So deforestation andforest degradation are two times more damaging, because greenhouse gases are released intothe atmosphere through forest fires, or using the cut trees as firewood, while at the same timethe number of carbon dioxide absorbing trees are reduced.Tropical forests cover about 15% of the world’s land surface and contain about 25% of thecarbon in the terrestrial biosphere. But they are being rapidly degraded and deforestedresulting in the emission of heat-trapping carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Roughly 13 millionhectares are converted to other land uses each year. This loss accounts for a fifth of globalcarbon emissions, making land cover change the second largest contributor to global warming.Forests therefore play a vital role in any initiative to combat climate change.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN D EFORESTATION AND D EGRADATION OFFOREST Deforestation: this involves a decrease in the area covered by forest. However, it cannot be so defined without adding a reference to its use (or allocation). In point of fact, there exist certain forms of forest utilization - and priority objectives of forest management - that clear temporarily the forest cover while guaranteeing its maintenance. This is the case of clear cutting of areas where forest will regenerate itself or be regenerated, or of the final cut in an even-aged forest silvicultural treatment once natural regeneration has been assured. In other words, there is no deforestation if there is a guarantee of continuity in maintaining the forest cover . Degradation: this does not involve a reduction of the forest area, but rather a quality decrease in its condition, this being related to one or a number of different forest ecosystem components (vegetation layer, fauna, soil, etc.), to the interactions between these components, and more generally to its functioning.CDM AND REDDTill now REDD program is not incorporated under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).Discussions are on and some decision is expected in the Mexico COP16.CARBON FINANCE FOR REDDThe issue of how REDD is to be funded is the next area of controversy. Three mainmechanisms are proposed for financing REDD 1. carbon trading 2. Fund 3. Both (1) and (2)Only a market-based approach with REDD credits will generate enough money toincentivise forest protection but financing REDD through carbon trading would meanthat the developed countries can delay effective action to stop the burning of fossil fuelsby offsetting its emissions with carbon stored in forests. Trading forest carbon allowspollution to continue somewhere else. The result is no reduction in emissions. If themeasurements of carbon stored are inaccurate, or if deforestation is stopped in one areabut increases somewhere else as a result (described as “leakage” in carbon mechanism),then the emissions will be increased by the activity seeking the offset and by the
deforestation. If financed through carbon trading, REDD will create world’s biggestloophole – effectively allowing industry to continue polluting.The World Bank’s main mechanism for promoting REDD is a new scheme, launched inBali in 2007: the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF). Under the FCPF, countriesproduced R-PINs (Readiness Plan Idea Notes). The Bank has accepted 25 of these R -PINs and these countries are now producing R-Plans (Readiness Plans) which providethe framework for REDD in these countries. The World Bank is also financing threeREDD-type projects through its Bio-Carbon Fund (REDD Monitor organization).VOLUNTARY CARBON STANDARDS AND REDDThere are a series of voluntary carbon standards to certify the REDD project activityincluding the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA).A/R CDM methodologies and tools can used to calculate green house gas emissionreduction and also it would help in demonstration and assessment of additionality butwith certain limitations.This REDD Methodology Framework (REDD-MF) provides guidance for constructingmethodologies for REDD project activities compliant with the validation and verificationrequirements of the VCS. REDD methodology can be constructed based on a set of pre-defined VCS-approved modules. The resulting methodology will be VCS-approvedwithout the requirement of a methodology validation.REFERENCEShttp://www.un-redd.org/AboutREDD/tabid/582/Default.aspxhttp://www.cbd.int/http://www.fao.org/docrep/article/wfc/xii/ms12a-e.htmhttp://www.redd-monitor.org
ABOUT U SAgneya Carbon Ventures came into existence with the purpose of “To help our clients inunderstanding, establishing sound Environment Management Systems, and pursuingsustainable business solutions through our various services to abate direct and indirectimpact on ecological balance.”We have worked with companies across sectors enabling them to create carbonaccounting, monitoring and reporting systems. We have expertise in the areas of carbonaccounting and management, energy management systems, voluntary/compliancecarbon markets, environment management and sustainability and carbon branding.Equipped with in-depth understanding of the Clean Development Mechanismmethodologies specific to forestry, we can assist you in developing yourAfforestation/Reforestation projects right from identifying proper land for the projectto registering the project at the Executive Board post validation.To know more about us, please visit http://www.agneya.inTo schedule a meeting or a discussion with us, do reach us onKedar: +91-9665407848 – email@example.comIndrajeet: +91-9028788430 – firstname.lastname@example.orgShailesh: +91-9890887670 – email@example.com