ITTO has always recognized the valuable ecosystem services rendered by tropical forests which include mitigation of climate change impacts, conservation of biodiversity, protection of watersheds, provision of amenity and recreation services, foods from the forests and biomass as an alternative source of energy for fossil fuels. Such ecosystem services are crucial in the global carbon cycle as land use change, including deforestation mostly but not only in the tropics, account for about 18% of global greenhouse gases, which is more than the share of total emissions from the transportation sector.
REDD + initiatives, i.e. reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, conservation of carbon stocks, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of carbon sinks in forests will play important roles in climate change mitigation, while generating other benefits, especially for local communities involved.
ITTO's action plan is designed to assist tropical member countries to support studies and activities related to reducing deforestation and degradation and enhancing carbon sinks in cooperation with relevant organizations. The Organization also has a Thematic Programme on Reducing Deforestation and Forest Degradation and Enhancing Environmental Services (REDDES) aiming at reducing deforestation and forest degradation, enhance environmental services and help improve the livelihoods of forest dependent communities through conservation and sustainable use of tropical forest resources, forest restoration and other related activities in a landscape planning approach.
For a detailed account of ITTO's action agenda, please refer to the current ITTO Action Plan
»Tropical forests and climate change
Addressing climate change through sustainable management of tropical forests
» Thematic Programme on REDDES
Assisting members to reduce deforestation and forest degradation and enhance environmental services
»Capacity building for A/R-CDM
Assisting members to prepare afforestation/reforestation project activities under the Clean Development Mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol
»ITTO Carbon Calculator
Carbon calculator that calculates the number of trees that need to be planted to offset the carbon emissions in everyday life.