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Reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD): a climate change mitigation strategy on a critical track

Author(s): Köhl Michael | Baldauf Thomas | Plugge Daniel | Krug Joachim

Journal: Carbon Balance and Management
ISSN 1750-0680

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 10;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Abstract Background Following recent discussions, there is hope that a mechanism for reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) will be agreed by the Parties of the UNFCCC at their 15th meeting in Copenhagen in 2009 as an eligible action to prevent climate changes and global warming in post-2012 commitment periods. Countries introducing a REDD-regime in order to generate benefits need to implement sound monitoring and reporting systems and specify the associated uncertainties. The principle of conservativeness addresses the problem of estimation errors and requests the reporting of reliable minimum estimates (RME). Here the potential to generate benefits from applying a REDD-regime is proposed with reference to sampling and non-sampling errors that influence the reliability of estimated activity data and emission factors. Results A framework for calculating carbon benefits by including assessment errors is developed. Theoretical, sample based considerations as well as a simulation study for five selected countries with low to high deforestation and degradation rates show that even small assessment errors (5% and less) may outweigh successful efforts to reduce deforestation and degradation. Conclusion The generation of benefits from REDD is possible only in situations where assessment errors are carefully controlled.
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