Ministry says REDD+ creates wider benefits beyond reducing deforestation, degradation
Agriculture State Minister Sileshi Getahun said that the implementation of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) has evolved wider benefits in managing forests more sustainably, ensuring greater conservation efforts and carbon through forest expansion, beyond reducing deforestation and degradation.
Launching the implementation workshop of the second phase of Ethiopia REDD+ Readiness Process-the readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP) at the Ghion Hotel yesterday, Sileshi said forests and trees store carbon by capturing and processing CO2 through the photosynthesis pathway, but when they are burnt down or cleared (deforestation), the stored carbon is released back to the atmosphere thereby contributing to climate change.
Fossil fuel burning and deforestation release about 30 billion tonnes of carbon-dioxide equivalents into the atmosphere annually of which, 17 percent is emissions from the global forestry sector-collectively known as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD), Sileshi added.
Accordingly, he underscored, financial incentive provided to governments, businesses and communities of developing countries, is much helpful to maintain forest cover, cut carbon emissions and also offer benefits in terms of biodiversity conservation. Moreover, when local people are involved in the REDD process; it will have significant merits in alleviating poverty, the State Minister noted.
Ethiopia has recognized the importance of participating in the international REDD+ mechanism, Sileshi said. “REDD+ will create national capacity for proper administration of forests and help generate revenue from forests that will support the socio-economic development, in turn contributes a lot to the global climate change mitigation efforts.”
Noting that the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF, World Bank) has since been supporting REDD+ process in Ethiopia and the important outcome of the REDD+ national process is the preparation of REDD Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP), Sileshi said, the implementation cost of R-PP was estimated at 14.21 million USD out of which the World Bank has granted Ethiopia 3.6 million USD.
However, the FCPF support is not adequate to implement the R-PP, development partners, Royal Norwegian government and Department for International Development (DFID) of the UK government have pledged significant support for the readiness phase, and possibly beyond, Sileshi remarked.
Representative from World Bank, Edward Dwumfour on his part said the World Bank administered FCPF and the UN Collaborative Program on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD Program) are two leading multilateral efforts currently supporting developing countries to become “ready” to REDD+.
As currently designed, performance-based incentives payments would be piloted on a relatively small scale, to gather lesson and experience to set the stage for a much larger system of positive incentives and financing flows in the future, Edward added.