Forests play a significant part in climate change: what is the Commission doing to stop deforestation and to put in place effective incentives for developing countries to stop deforestation and forest degradation?
Deforestation and forest degradation account for close to 20% of global emissions, more than the entire global transport sector. Rapid and significant emissions reductions from reduced deforestation and degradation (REDD) are essential to avoid global warming above 2°C. The 2008 EC Communication on deforestation underscored the importance of positive incentives to encourage developing countries to reduce emissions from deforestation by encouraging them to maintain forest carbon and to invest in low-carbon sustainable development strategies. The EC is supporting the development of REDD strategies through country specific development assistance as well as supporting international efforts such as the Forest Carbon Partnership steered by the World Bank.
The European Commission contribution to REDD-related initiatives and projects covers a broad range of activities and projects that can contribute to the development of REDD in many developing countries, being at local, national or regional levels. The total amount of funds already committed or in the pipeline for the period 2007-2013 reaches €420 million in more than 40 countries, of which €220 million (52%) correspond to ongoing projects financed under 2007 to 2009 budget years and €200 million (48%) still to be committed for the period 2010-2013.
What are the links between Forest governance (FLEGT) and climate change (REDD)?
The governance and market failures which drive illegal logging are much the same as those that drive deforestation. The constraints to tackling deforestation are the same as those we face in tackling illegal logging: unclear and contested tenure of land and forests, lack of institutional capability, weak regulatory capacity, and corruption. FLEGT and REDD both require multi-stakeholder processes that build a shared commitment; systems for monitoring, reporting and verification that are credible; buyers who have confidence in the products they are paying for. Thus, key to tackling deforestation is establishing good governance and FLEGT can help to achieve this...."
In general, all the above is true. EU is seeing FLEGT as a valid support tool against illegal logging. While VPA’s are tackling the problems where they exist, - within the borders of a country- , and might be quite efficient in combating both, deforestation and illegal logging, due diligence approach of FLEGT is not.
This is because due diligence of FLEGT only tackles timber trade. As we all know, illegally logged timber is just contributing by approximately 10% to deforestation globally. How much of this timber is expected to approach EU territory and would therefore be touched by the due diligence of EU-FLEGT?
Think about that!
EU has published a Q&A on illegal logging