Highlights of Technical Expert Meeting on land use

At the Technical Expert Meeting on Land Use, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said that land use is responsible for just under a quarter of human induced greenhouse gas emissions. This is mainly the result of deforestation and agricultural emissions from livestock, soil and nutrient management. Agriculture, forestry and other forms of land use are responsible for a large share of emissions in many developing countries.

Several developing country governments made presentations at the Technical Expert Meeting which demonstrate the considerable efforts they are undertaking. China's massive reforestation efforts aim to achieve 40 million hectares increase in forest area by end of 2020 over 2005 levels. 60% of this was already achieved by 2013. China also intends to integrate forest carbon into its national pilot emissions trading scheme. Brazil pointed out that from 2004 to 2013, it has reduced deforestation rates in the Amazon by 79% .

Brazil also said that all developing countries can do significantly more to curb emissions from deforestation with international support, notably with the help of REDD+.  REDD+ stands for 'Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries' . It creates a financial value for the carbon stored in forests, offering incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon paths to sustainable development. At the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Brazil formally submitted key information and data on the status of its greenhouse gas emission reductions in the forest sector, paving the way for other countries to follow.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations pointed out that food production is projected to increase 60-70% by 2050. It also said the good news is that there are options which can increase productivity, help reduce emissions and strengthen resilience benefits, particularly in agriculture. Many of these are sustainable land management practices. The World Bank gave an overview of the state of financing, technology transfer and capacity-building, and the Global Environment Facility outlined the areas it is working in to help fund sustainable agriculture.

Support for climate action with the help of land use is also available tom the new Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN). The CTCN is now fully operational and is currently collaborating with 6 countries, also covering agriculture and forestry. For example, the CTCN has received a request from Honduras to help install technology and enhance local capacity for monitoring and protection of mangrove forest in coastal zones.

The full set of presentations is available here