Liberia to Submit REDD Readiness Plans
On Friday, April 3, 2010, several Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and donor partners including the World Bank and the United Sates Agency for International Development (USAID) gathered at a workshop organized by the Action Against Climate Change (AACC) Liberia. It was organized under the theme, Building Capacity within Civil Society to Participate in Policy Dialogue on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) in Liberia.
The Government of Liberia is now developing a Readiness Plan (R-PP) and the purpose of the workshop was to create space for NGOs, Government, private sector and other stakeholders to discuss and develop a list of priority issues that should be addressed in the R-PP.
The Government and its partners have expressed commitment to broadening stakeholder participation and input to the development of the R-PP and to take into account the views of communities.
During the session in the conference room of the Family Planning Building on 18th Street in Sinkor, several issues about the REDD R-PP were raised.
Some of the issues discussed were the components of REDD and how civil society organizations could participate in the dialogue of the R-PP.
Though the REDD program is intended to help reduce deforestation and degradation as well as carbon emissions, the question regarding what to do with those Liberians who are dependent on the forest and their various products for their livelihoods.
It was agreed that meaningful reduction of carbon emissions could also support pro-poor development by helping biodiversity and securing vital ecosystem services.
Participants at the workshop also agreed that to achieve multiple benefits, REDD will require the full engagement and respect for the rights of indigenous peoples and other forest-dependent communities.
Though REDD is an emerging concept in the context of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), its activities in developing countries must complement deep cuts in developed countries’ emissions.
The concept promotes the use of forests as carbon sinks as a critical action in the global efforts to combat climate change and slow down global warming.
The discussions on REDD/ REDD + (REDD plus) within the UNFCCC centered on how to reward efforts to address deforestation and forest degradation, how this relates to other measures such as drastic emission cuts, and a financing mechanism.
According to the overview of the workshop, the UNFCCC talks in Copenhagen in 2009 failed to deliver an agreement. However, talks will resume this year with the hope of concluding a legally binding agreement on climate change.
It was, however, observed that there is a challenge posed by resistance to drastic emission reduction in US, Europe and other major polluters including China. Discussions on REDD have now been broaden to include plantations and sustainable management of forest (including logging).