This report considers the measures that have been and might be undertaken to promote environmental co-benefits from REDD. Such measures may be linked to decisions on financing. The report surveys the measures that are found in existing REDD initiatives, including in the proposed UNFCCC REDD mechanism itself. It considers the options and opportunities for how these measures might be amended and developed in the future.
If the REDD mechanism is successful in maintaining existing forests in developing countries it is likely to deliver a range of environmental benefits, in addition to its contribution to climate change mitigation. These benefits chiefly take the form of maintaining the biodiversity and ecosystem services supported by those forests. However, the scale and identity of these benefits will depend on how REDD is designed and implemented. Moreover, there are some risks to the environment from REDD. These risks have increased with the shift to a version of REDD (commonly referred to as ‘REDD+’) which covers a wider range of activities.
There are two specific reasons why measures to address co-benefits from REDD are important. First, attention to co-benefits can strengthen REDD’s performance as a climate mitigation mechanism. Second, addressing and avoiding negative environmental impacts from REDD can help to make REDD more politically resilient in the medium to long term. If REDD were to become associated with significant environmental harms, this could undermine the social and political support for its role in climate mitigation.
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