unfccc.int-A Look at REDD+ on International Day of Forests
UN Climate Change News, 21 March 2019 – Forests and their sustainable management play a key role in the global carbon cycle and in tackling climate change. Today is International Day of Forests 2019, with a focus on education – a great opportunity to look at what the UN is doing protect forests through the “REDD+” policy framework.
Forests cover 30% of the Earth's land surface, their capacity to absorb and store carbon from the atmosphere is a critical contribution to reaching the Paris Agreement goal of limiting warming to well under 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels.
At the same time, forests deliver critical ecosystem services to rural communities and society, supporting the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals, for example by providing clean air and water, reducing the risk of natural disasters, conserving biodiversity and providing shelter, jobs and security for forest-dependent communities.
Proper education on forests, forestry and forest science is critical to achieve such multiple benefits through applied science and adaptive forest management.
Not only physically planting trees and protecting existing forests is crucial - it is equally important to understand that being able to measure the extent of forest area, the carbon stocks stored in forests, and the contribution of forests to the economy is necessary to design effective policies to manage forests to the benefit of people and the climate.
REDD+ is a key component of global forest protection
Advancements in this area in the past decade have allowed forest countries to get a better understanding of their forest resources and start implementing REDD+.
REDD+ is a framework negotiated under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to address the challenge of deforestation and forest degradation.
Currently, about 11 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions result from deforestation and forest degradation, but both result in the destruction of forests and their ability to provide ecosystem services while releasing further greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.