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News release

REDD+ capacity building essential for implementing Paris Agreement, say experts

24 November 2016

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Sharing experiences on REDD+: In his presentation, Mr Shuji Oki (rostrum), Deputy Director General of the Forestry Agency of Japan, highlighted his organization’s continued commitment to the implementation of REDD+ in tropical countries. From left on the podium: Dr Hwan-Ok Ma (ITTO), Dr Maria J. Sanz (Basque Centre of Climate Change, Spain), Dr Yasumasa Hirata (REDD+ Research and Development Center of Japan), Ms Novia Widyaningtyas (Ministry of Environment and Forestry of Indonesia), Dr Elizabeth Philip (Forest Research Institute Malaysia), Mr Chivin Leng (Ministry of Environment, Cambodia), and Mr Kwame Agyei (Ghana Forestry Commission). Photo: T. Yanuariadi/ITTO

Speakers at an ITTO side-event say it is time to scale up resources and south–south cooperation to ensure countries have the capacity to use comparable methodologies in the measurement, reporting and verification phase of REDD+. The side-event was held on 17 November in Marrakech, Morocco, at the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
 
According to speakers at the side-event, which was titled “Enabling results-based payments for REDD+ in tropical forests: lessons from reference setting”, more capacity and resources are needed to sustain and improve the quality of forest reference emission levels (FRELs) and forest reference levels (FRLs) for achieving Article 5 of the Paris Agreement, which focuses on the role of forests in addressing mitigation and adaptation challenges.
 
The following REDD+ experts spoke at the side-event:
  • Dr Maria Jose Sanchez, Scientific Director, Basque Centre for Climate Change, Spain.
  • Dr Yasumasa Hirata, Director, REDD+ Research and Development Center, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Japan.
  • Ms Novia Widyaningtyas, Head of REDD+ Division, Directorate General of Climate Change, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Indonesia.
  • Dr Elizabeth Philip, Forest Research Institute Malaysia, Malaysia.
  • Mr MRV/FRL Focal point, Cambodia REDD+ Programme, Ministry of Environment, Cambodia.
  • Mr Kwame Agyei, Senior Manager, National REDD+ Secretariat, Forestry Commission, Ghana.
 
The side-event reviewed the challenges in accessing results-based payments for REDD+ and presented overviews of 15 proposed FRELs/FRLs submitted by tropical countries in terms of the scope of REDD+ activities, carbon pools, national/subnational scale, forest definition, and the historical trend period for results-based actions.
 
Recognizing the increasing demand for FRELs/FRLs of high technical quality, the side-event shared lessons arising from technical assessments of proposed FRELs/FRLs. These include the importance of: transparency and completeness in FREL/FRL submissions; consistency between FRELs/FRLs and forest monitoring systems; and comparability over time in defining forests in differing national circumstances.
 
The side-event also canvassed the technical issue of measuring forest degradation, and it heard experiences in constructing FRELs/FRLs in Cambodia, Ghana, Indonesia and Malaysia towards the full implementation of REDD+. It was noted that constructing FRELs/FRLs is an important aspect of REDD+ implementation, involving a step-by-step analysis by national and local experts and consultations with multiple stakeholders. 
 
The side-event noted the importance of the principle of “transparency, accuracy, completeness, consistency and comparability” and the concept of “practicability and cost-effectiveness” in measurement, reporting and verification.
 
The side-event was organized jointly with the REDD+ Research and Development Center at the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Japan, with the support of the Basque Centre for Climate Change of Spain; the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of Indonesia; the Ministry of Environment of Cambodia; the Forest Research Institute Malaysia; and the Ghana Forestry Commission. It had about 80 participants, including government officials and representatives of bilateral aid agencies, research institutes and non-governmental organizations.