News

Current Articles | Search | Syndication
Add to iGoogle or Google Reader

Putting the carbon ahead of the drivers

14-Jun-2013

By Vera Coelho

The round of applause at the end of the REDD+ negotiations in Bonn reflected the relief of the Parties at having concluded work on several difficult issues. But their efforts will not stop deforestation and forest degradation.

After two weeks of meetings in Bonn (Germany), delegates negotiating the mechanism to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) made significant progress. Several unfinished issues stemming from the last meeting in Doha (Qatar) were resolved in Bonn, or a way forward to tackle them was found. The particularly thorny issue of monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) finally has a light at the end of the tunnel.

However, while much talking was done on how to measure deforestation and forest degradation, delegates were less keen to discuss the underlying causes leading to the destruction of forests and peatlands. Using the excuse that all other issues on the agenda limited their time to work on drivers of deforestation and forest degradation (“drivers”), they came up with a woefully weak text.

The document, which was officially adopted today at the closing plenary of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technical Advice (SBSTA), places the burden of addressing drivers almost entirely on developing countries - as if worldwide demand for commodities such as palm oil, soya or pulp wood played no part in driving deforestation and forest degradation. As for all the consumer countries, they are simply “encouraged” to “continue” addressing drivers – and no process is put in place to assess whether they really do it.

Such a weak outcome leaves a bitter taste after such good progress on other items. On a more positive note, after a year of deadlock on discussions relating to agriculture, negotiators finally found a way forward. While tensions remain as to whether the UNFCCC should tackle mitigation or adaptation (or both) in the agricultural sector, Parties have at least agreed a process to move the discussion in a constructive way, by requesting submissions and the organisation of a workshop on the adaptation potential in agricultural systems and potential co-benefits in terms of mitigation. Peatlands are a paradigmatic example in this respect, as peatland drainage leads to soil subsidence (an adaptation issue) and to large CO2 emissions.

Press contact

Press can contact:

Ms. Ytha Kempkes
Communications and Advocacy Manager
Tel. +31 (0)318 660933
Email: ytha.kempkes@wetlands.org

Press kit

Latest Tweets

TweetId: 492744631428587521 Wetlands Int. retweeted weADAPT weADAPT1 weADAPT1 "Building with Nature in Indonesia - reaching scale for coastal resilience" newly contributed by @WetlandsInt http://t.co/YTxh4su6cH 25-07-14 18:54
TweetId: 491910647534608384 Wetlands Int. WetlandsInt WetlandsInt Bringing back water to #Senegal's Ndiael Reserve #Ramsar http://t.co/Icf2pp6EMw http://t.co/vIgNPmFzh3 23-07-14 11:40
TweetId: 491909479139917824 Wetlands Int. WetlandsInt WetlandsInt Bringing back water to #Senegal's Ndiael Reserve Part II #Ramsar http://t.co/Icf2pp6EMw http://t.co/947NBoFnX2 23-07-14 11:35