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Methodological guidance for activities relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries (SBSTA)
 

Background

According to the FAO (2005), deforestation, mainly conversion of forests to agricultural land, continues at an alarming rate of approximately 13 million hectares per year (for the period 1990–2005).  Deforestation results in immediate release of the carbon originally stored in the trees as CO2 emissions (with small amounts of CO and CH4), particularly if the trees are burned and the slower release of emissions from the decay of organic matter.  The IPCC WGIII (2007) estimated emissions from deforestation in the 1990s to be at 5.8 GtCO2/yr.  The IPCC also notes that reducing and/or preventing deforestation is the mitigation option with the largest and most immediate carbon stock impact in the short term per hectare and per year globally as the release of carbon as emissions into the atmosphere is prevented. 

The agenda item on “Reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries and approaches to stimulate action” was first introduced into the COP agenda at its eleventh session in Montreal (December 2005).  The governments of Papua New Guinea and Costa Rica, supported by 8 other Parties, through their submission FCCC/CP/2005/MISC.1, requested for this issue to be taken up on the agenda.  This proposal received wide support from Parties and there was general agreement on the importance of the issue in the context of climate change mitigation, particularly in light of the large contribution of emissions from deforestation in developing countries to global greenhouse gas emissions.  The COP established a contact group on this item which drafted conclusions on initiating a process to address the issue of reducing emissions from deforestation.

This page presents information and the status of negotiations of this agenda item from the most recent development at the SBSTA to outcomes from previous sessions.  It also provides an outlook on the agenda item at the next session.


Outlook for SBSTA 39 (November 2013)

 

At its thirty-ninth session, the SBSTA will continue its work on the following matters, on the basis of the elements contained in the annexes I and II to the conclusions of SBSTA 38:

  • Methodological guidance for measuring, reporting and verifying, as referred to in pdf-icon decision 1/CP.16, appendix II, paragraph (c);
  • Guidance for the technical assessment of the proposed forest reference emission levels and/or forest reference levels, as requested in pdf-icon decision 12/CP.17, paragraph 15.

The SBSTA aims to complete its work on these matters at this session and preparing any recommendations for draft decisions on these matters for consideration and adoption by COP 19.

Refer to FCCC/SBSTA/2013/L.12, annexes I and II.

Outlook for future sessions

At its fortieth session, the SBSTA will continue its consideration of:

  • The development of methodological guidance on non-market-based approaches;
  • Methodological issues related to non-carbon benefits.

The SBSTA requested the secretariat to organize an in-session expert meeting at SBSTA 40 on matters relating to non-market-based approaches and to prepare a report on the meeting for its consideration at its forty-first session.

At its forty-first session (December 2014), the SBSTA will consider the need for further guidance on the issues referred to in pdf-icon decision 12/CP.17, paragraph 6 (issues relating to safeguards).

Submission of views

SBSTA 38 invited Parties and admitted observer organizations to submit their views on several matters for its consideration at its future sessions.

The SBSTA invited Parties and admitted observer organizations to submit to the secretariat, by 26 March 2014, their views on the following matters for its consideration at its fortieth session (June 2014):

  • Methodological guidance for non-market-based approaches;
  • Issues referred to in pdf-icon decision 1/CP.18, paragraph 40 (methodological issues related to non-carbon benefits resulting from the implementation of REDD-plus).

For its consideration at its forty-first session (December 2014), the SBSTA invited:

  • Developing country Parties to submit to the secretariat, by 24 September 2014, their views on experiences and lessons learned from their development of systems for providing information on how all the safeguards are being addressed and respected and the challenges they face in developing such systems;
  • Parties and admitted observer organizations to submit to the secretariat, by 24 September 2014, their views on the type of information from systems for providing information on how the safeguards are being addressed and respected that would be helpful and that may be provided by developing country Parties.


SBSTA 38 (June 2013)

 

SBSTA 38 continued its consideration of methodological guidance for activities relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries. (Refer to the conclusions of this agenda item contained in FCCC/SBSTA/2013/L.12 and Annexes I and II).

At this session, the SBSTA completed its work on several matters related to the work programme referred to in pdf-icon decision 1/CP.16, appendix II and to pdf-icon decision 12/CP.17, paragraph 5. It decided to recommend draft decisions on the following matters for adoption by the COP at its nineteenth session:

  • Modalities for national monitoring systems;
  • The timing and the frequency of presentations of the summary of information on how all the safeguards referred to in pdf-icon decision 1/CP.16, appendix I, are being addressed and respected;
  • Addressing the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation.

(Refer to FCCC/SBSTA/2013/L.12/Add.1, Add.2, Add.3 for the draft decisions)

Measuring, reporting and verifying

It continued its work on a draft text on modalities for measuring, reporting and verifying. As referred to in pdf-icon decision 1/CP.16, appendix II, paragraph (c), on the basis of the addendum to the SBSTA 37 report (FCCC/SBSTA/2012/5/Add.1), which contains elements for a possible draft decision on these matters. (Refer to FCCC/SBSTA/2013/L.12, annex I).

Forest reference emission levels and/or forest reference levels

It initiated work on guidance for the technical assessment of the proposed forest reference emission levels and/or forest reference levels, as requested in pdf-icon decision 12/CP.17, paragraph 15. It considered a draft text containing elements for a possible draft decision on guidelines and procedures for the technical assessment of submissions from Parties on proposed forest reference emission levels and/or forest reference levels. (Refer to FCCC/SBSTA/2013/L.12, annex II)

Safeguards

The SBSTA, in recalling the guidance in pdf-icon decision 12/CP.17, paragraph 2, encouraged developing country Parties to:

  • Continue building experiences and best practices as part of improving their systems for providing information on how all the safeguards were being addressed and respected;
  • Share these experiences and lessons learned with other Parties.

The SBSTA also encouraged developing country Parties and observer organizations to share, via the Web Platform on the UNFCCC website, their experiences and lessons learned from the development of systems for providing information on how all the safeguards are being addressed and respected and the challenges they face in developing such systems.

Drivers of deforestation and forest degradation

On addressing drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, the SBSTA:

  • Noted that actions to address drivers should also consider the guidance in pdf-icon decision 1/CP.16, appendix I;
  • Recognized the importance of cross-sector coordination in the context of the development of national strategies or action plans;
  • Recognized that international cooperation can contribute to addressing drivers.

Non-market-based approaches

The SBSTA noted that non-market-based approaches, such as joint mitigation and adaptation approaches for the integral and sustainable management of forests, as referred to in pdf-icon decision 2/CP.17, paragraph 67, are important to support the implementation of the activities referred to in pdf-icon decision 1/CP.16, paragraph 70.

The SBSTA further noted the need for clarity on types of non-market-based approaches related to the implementation of the activities referred to in pdf-icon decision 1/CP.16, paragraph 70, and whether further methodological work could be needed.

Non-carbon benefits

On non-carbon benefits, the SBSTA agreed that:

  • It is important to take into account these benefits when implementing the activities referred to in pdf-icon decision 1/CP.16, paragraph 70;
  • Clarity is needed on the types of such benefits and associated methodological issues.

It also took note of ongoing work on non-carbon benefits under other international organizations and conventions.

REDD outcomes at SBSTA 35 - 37

REDD outcomes at SBSTA 29 - 34

REDD outcomes at SBSTA 24 - 28

REDD under SBSTA

Recent Sessions

SBSTA 35 - 37

SBSTA 29 - 34

SBSTA 24 - 28

 
UNFCCC documents
UNFCCC documents relating to REDD, including:
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   * Workshop reports
   * Technical papers
   * Submissions
 
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