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Work on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries gets underway
 

Deforestation, which results in the immediate release of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, is a significant contributor to human-induced climate change. The agenda item “Reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries and approaches to stimulate action” was first introduced at COP 11 in Montreal in December 2005. It was two years later, in Bali, that governments adopted a major decision on the issue, which provides a mandate for governments, relevant organizations and stakeholders to stimulate actions on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries.

Under the process of the Bali Action Plan, discussions in 2008 and 2009 will focus on policy approaches and positive incentives to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries.

The Ad hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action will hold an in-session workshop on these issues during the Accra Climate Change Talks in August. The workshop presents an opportunity for governments to exchange views on how to address deforestation and forest degradation-related issues under an agreed outcome on enhanced climate change action in Copenhagen in 2009. The elements of the workshop are listed in the annex to the scenario note by the Chair.

Discussions in Accra should also help participants gain a clearer understanding of the challenges involved in tackling deforestation and forest degradation. These include addressing the drivers of both deforestation and forest degradation under different national circumstances, as well as building the capacities of developing countries to effectively implement actions to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.

This year, a programme of work is being undertaken on methodological issues related to a range of policy approaches and positive incentives to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries. Such methodological issues include finding ways to estimate and monitor emissions from forest degradation. In order to further advance discussions, 140 delegates from more than 60 UNFCCC Parties and international organizations gathered in Tokyo, Japan, in June this year to participate in a major workshop on methodological issues.  A report on progress made during the course of the year will be presented in Poznań in December.