The drafts for the Paris agreement and the decisions relating to it, as drawn up in Bonn last week, are full of square brackets, that is, text which is not yet agreed upon. REDD+ is included (Article 3bis), but an alternative, non-results based mechanism (´Joint Mitigation and Adaptation Mechanism´, JMA) is also on the table. There remains a vast amount of negotiating to do in Paris before global agreement is reached and REDD+, in whatever form, can be brought under an umbrella agreement which tackles climate change comprehensively, inclusively and effectively.
In the hope and expectation that there will be a successful outcome in Paris, we are initiating this blog to share the results of research work on REDD+ that has been carried out by CIGA, the Centro de Investigaciones en Geografía Ambiental of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, at its Morelia campus. We deal mostly with nitty-gritty practicalities that are involved in getting successful national REDD+ programmes off the ground.
In the coming weeks we will be posting on this site a series of InfoBriefs prepared for presentation at CoP21 in Paris. These highlight some of the practical problems and solutions related to implementing national REDD+ programmes. In addition we are co-hosting a side event at the CoP, together with the Global Canopy Programme, CCBA and University of Twente, on community monitoring for REDD, and arranging a meeting on the potential of Tropical Dry Forests under REDD+ (please see announcements to the right of this blog). You are welcome, if you are going to be at CoP21 in Paris.
InfoBrief 3 can be downloaded immediately. It deals with the challenge of estimating emissions from forest degradation, for the particular case of Tropical Dry Forests (TDF). In general, TDF has a higher population density than rainforest, and it is used quite intensively in the livelihood strategies of the local people. While deforestation may certainly be taking place in patches, we argue that the greater problem is degradation, which is occurring more or less all over. In the case of Mexico, degradation of TDF is mainly the result of cattle grazing in forests, and to a lesser extent as a result of shifting cultivation. There is no doubt of the importance of tackling this source of emissions, but the first challenge is how to measure it.
Over the next couple of weeks we will raise other issues, such as the impacts of shifting cultivation on emissions and its opportunity costs. We hope this will be of interest of others and urge you to respond.