UN-REDD: Why we should be more optimistic about forests and climate change...

 

 

If you skimmed the news, 2017 may have seemed like a tough year for climate change.

 

The US and the Caribbean endured a devastating hurricane season. People across Africa felt the impact of consecutive seasons of drought that scorched harvests and depressed livelihoods. And severe rains and flooding forced tens of thousands of evacuations in Asia.

 

We’ve all seen these headlines, and perhaps several others that leave us feeling discouraged, to say the least. The thing is, these headlines do not tell the full story.

 

Year round, I work side-by-side with climate leaders from developed and developing countries across the world through the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility(FCPF) and the BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes (ISFL) and with partners like the UN-REDD Programme. Together, we work on the design and implementation of ambitious, large-scale programs to shift entire forestry, agriculture and other land use sectors towards more sustainable (and often more profitable) production models that take pressure off primary forests.

 

It’s work that doesn’t move as fast as some of the negative headlines roll out. But these are groundbreaking programs with tremendous potential for mitigating climate change and improving livelihoods. They are programs that need to be part of the conversation when we are talking about the state of the planet and climate change.

 

2017’s encouraging progress and results

 

Under the FCPF last year, nearly all the 47 participant countries are well on the way to building the foundation needed to implement REDD+ (which stands for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation). These activities include improving governance, boosting stakeholder engagement, designing safeguards systems, preparing climate action strategies, and developing forest emission reference levels and national forest monitoring systems. Nineteen of these countries have made significant progress and are now onto designing their programs on the ground.

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CBFP News

Forest defenders on the COVID-19 frontline stand ready to assist the global EU response – Fern

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22 May 2020 International Day for Biological Diversity

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Watch our new video – UICN

On the occasion of the World Biodiversity Day, this new PPI video proposes to illustrate this question of biodiversity conservation and the links with local economic development. It shows two testimonies, one of Alexis Kaboré (NATUDEV) who develops sustainable value chain of honey and shea butter in the PONASI complex in Burkina Faso and one of Caleb Ofori (Herp Ghana) who implements a national ecotourism project in the mountains of eastern Ghana.

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COVID-19 and smallholder producers’ access to markets - FAO

In a pandemic such as COVID-19, measures to limit the spread of the virus require physical isolation and various levels of restrictions on people’s movement, and in some cases complete lockdowns. Inevitably, these measures cause transportation delays and bottlenecks in the flow of goods and services, including in the agricultural sector.

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The impacts of COVID-19 on the forest sector: How to respond? - FAO

This brief highlights some of the identified and perceived impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on development aspects interconnected with the forest sector, with a particular emphasis on the impacts on the production and trade of forest products. It proposes a series of recommendations as a basis for policy development in the aftermath of the crisis, and highlights potential opportunities to leverage the progress achieved so far, to ensure that decades of advances are not reversed.

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COVID-19 and food safety: guidance for food businesses - FAO

The purpose of these guidelines is to highlight these additional measures so that the integrity of the food chain is maintained, and that adequate and safe food supplies are available for consumers.

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How is COVID-19 affecting the fisheries and aquaculture food systems - FAO

The full range of activities required to deliver fish and fish products from production to the final consumer is subject to indirect impacts of the pandemic through new sanitary measures, changing consumer demands, market access or logistical problems related to transportation and border restrictions. This in turn has a damaging effect on fishers and fish farmers’ livelihoods, as well as on food security and nutrition for populations that rely heavily on fish for animal protein and essential micronutrients.

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GLF Bonn Digital Conference 2020: Food in the time of crises - June 3 - 5, 2020. Register now!

Human health and livelihoods depend on planetary health. So, how can we feed a growing global population without eating the planet? The 2020 theme of GLF is “Food and Livelihoods.” Today, food systems are one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions, a main driver of deforestation and the greatest threat to biodiversity. We need to transform the way we produce food and, as the COVID-19 pandemic is showing, we need to start now.

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