As part of the programme of work on methodological issues by the SBSTA, Parties submitted their views on how to address outstanding methodological issues (e.g. assessments of changes in forest cover and associated carbon stocks, reference emissions levels, implications of national and subnational approaches, options for assessing the effectiveness of actions relating to ongoing efforts, capacity building, technical assistance and transfer of technology, demonstration activities and mobilization of resources to support efforts, etc.). These views by Parties are contained in document FCCC/SBSTA/2008/MISC.4, Add.1, Add.2 and Add.3.
SBSTA 28 (FCCC/SBSTA/2008/6, paragraphs 92-96) took note of these views by Parties and initiated consideration of how to address outstanding methodological issues. It identified the main methodological issues that could be included in its report to the COP, at its fourteenth session (in annex III of the SBSTA report).
SBSTA28 was followed by a workshop on methodological issues, held on June 25 to 27, 2008 in Tokyo, Japan. The report on the workshop containing a summary of the discussions, including main outcomes, on the outstanding methodological issues is contained in FCCC/SBSTA/2008/11.
SBSTA 27 (FCCC/SBSTA/2007/16, paragraphs 25-29) continued its work on this matter on the basis of the draft text for a COP decision. As part of this work, the SBSTA also considered the views submitted by Parties on issues related to further steps under the Convention related to reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries: approaches to stimulate action (contained in FCCC/SBSTA/2007/MISC.14 and Add.1, Add.2 and Add.3).
At the end of the session, the SBSTA was able to complete its work on the draft decision except for the final two paragraphs related to further consideration of policy approaches and positive incentives relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (FCCC/SBSTA/2007/L.23/Add.1/Rev.1). Agreement on these two paragraphs depended on the reflection of these issues in the decision on long-term cooperative action on climate change under the Convention (Bali Action Plan). Once the Bali Action Plan (decision 1/CP.13) was adopted, the COP also adopted a decision on reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries: approaches to stimulate action (decision 2/CP.13).
The COP, in its decision 2/CP.13, requested the SBSTA to undertake a programme of work on methodological issues related to a range of policy approaches and positive incentives for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries.
Following the outcome of the second workshop on reducing emissions from deforestation, several Parties, during the opening plenary of SBSTA 26, requested the Chair of the SBSTA to provide a draft text for a decision on reducing emissions from deforestation as a basis for discussions at this session. Unable to complete its work at this session, the SBSTA agreed to continue its work on the basis of the draft text (contained in annex III to the report of SBSTA 26, FCCC/SBSTA/2007/4) at its twenty-seventh session.
At SBSTA 25 (FCCC/SBSTA/2006/11, paragraphs 85-92), Parties decided the scope of the second workshop that was to be held before the twenty-sixth session of the SBSTA (May 2007). The SBSTA decided to continue discussing the range of topics considered at the first workshop, including the submissions by Parties and accredited observers from this session, at the second workshop, that focused on: the discussions of ongoing and potential policy approaches and positive incentives, and technical and methodological requirements related to their implementation; assessment of results and their reliability; and improving the understanding of reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries.
To facilitate discussions at the second workshop, Parties and accredited observers submitted their views on the scope of the second workshop, referred to above. In addition, Parties considered, as appropriate, relevant provisions of other conventions (CBD, UNCCD, Ramsar) and the work of multilateral organizations (UNFF, ITTO and the WTO). The information in the submissions was made available to facilitate discussions at the second workshop and were compiled for consideration by the SBSTA at its twenty-sixth session (FCCC/SBSTA/2007/MISC.2 and Add.1).
When the item on Reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries was initially taken up at the eleventh session of the COP (December 2005) (FCCC/CP/2005/5, paragraphs 76-84), Parties agreed to initiate consideration of this matter beginning at the twenty-fourth SBSTA session (May 2006). Consideration of the agenda item would take into account the views of Parties on issues related to reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries, focused on relevant scientific, technical and methodological issues, and the exchange of relevant information and experiences, including policy approaches and positive incentives. Parties also provided recommendations on any further process to consider the issues.
The COP also requested the SBSTA to report on these issues raised by Parties in their submissions and that they would be discussed at the next sessions, including any recommendations, at its twenty-seventh session.
At SBSTA 24 (FCCC/SBSTA/2006/5, paragraphs 50-55), Parties initiated consideration of the information related to this item contained in the submissions from Parties (FCCC/SBSTA/2006/MISC.5 and Add.1) and in the submissions by accredited observers posted on the UNFCCC website.
Parties also accomplished an important task by agreeing on the scope of the first workshop on this item. The workshop was held from 30 August -1 September 2006 in Rome, Italy. It provided further opportunities for Parties to share experiences and consider relevant aspects related to reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries. At the workshop, participants discussed specific topics under two main aspects:
(a) scientific, socio-economic, technical and methodological issues; and
(b) policy approaches and positive incentives to reduce emissions from deforestation in developing countries (paragraph 52 (a)-(b)).
In addition, the workshop identified possible links between relevant scientific, socio-economic, technical and methodological issues and policy approaches and positive incentives that may arise.
To facilitate discussions at the workshop, a background paper on the topics related to these two main aspects was prepared, with a synthesis of relevant information in national communications and the submissions by Parties and accredited observers on this item.