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Durban Climate Conference: new perspectives on forests

Author(s): Perugini L | Vespertino D | Valentini R

Journal: Forest@
ISSN 1824-0119

Volume: 9;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Climate | Forest | Durban Climate Conference | Forest Management | Kyoto Protocol | REDD+ | LULUCF

The recent Durban Climate Conference can be considered a step forward in the agroforestry sector within the international climate regulatory regime. After four years of negotiations the long-awaited decision on Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry for the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol was agreed, including a new activity (wetland drainage and rewetting), defining the accounting rules for forest management (which was shifted from voluntary to mandatory), the accounting for harvested wood products and the treatment of emissions from natural disturbances. Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, conservation, sustainable management of forest, and the enhancement of forest carbon stock (REDD+) has moved ahead as well, with the agreement of two decisions as an intermediate step for the finalization of the REDD+ mechanism architecture. The first decision is about methodological aspects on guidance on system for providing information on how safeguards are addressed and respected and on modalities relating to forest reference emission levels and forest reference levels that are benchmarks for assessing country’s performance in implementing REDD+ activities. The second decision is about policy approaches and incentives on REDD+ activities, that is the controversial issue on the sources of financing for REDD+ mechanism. As source of finance for result-based actions, a wide variety of sources are recognized: public and private, bilateral and multilateral, including the Green Climate Fund, provided that they are new, additional and predictable. Both market and non-market approaches were also considered as possible tool for financing REDD+ action, to be developed by the Conference of Parties. Although a more ambitious outcome would have been desirable, the conference in Durban concluded with the finalization of key outcomes in the forestry sector providing important operational instruments to incentivize sustainable forest management at global level, representing a significant step forward in the full recognition of the fundamental role of forests in the carbon cycle.
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