• Introduction

    REDD stands for ‘Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation‘. Whilst now synonymous with avoided deforestation or reduced deforestation, REDD is one mechanism that aims to provide incentives for developing countries to make reductions in deforestation. The term 'REDD+' is now also used frequently, and purports to go beyond deforestation and forest degradation, and include the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in reducing emissions. REDD+ has mainly been discussed in international climate negotiations, particularly where there is interest in developing new policies to provide tropical developing countries with financial incentives to reduce deforestation and degradation rates. These incentives are typically financed by more developed countries. REDD+ readiness relates to the efforts a country is undertaking, with the support of multilateral or bilateral initiatives, to build its capacity to be ready for a REDD+ mechanism.

    Although funding towards REDD will likely take many different forms, one option that is often discussed is to link REDD to carbon markets in developed countries. Currently forest areas are often worth more harvested than left standing but REDD strategies aim to make forests more valuable standing by creating a financial value for the carbon stored in trees, potentially generating significant funding for REDD. Once this carbon is assessed and quantified, the final phase of REDD involves developed countries paying developing countries carbon offsets for their standing forests. At its core, REDD aims to change incentive structures to favour sustainable management of forests and forest resources, contributing to the global fight against climate change. Whilst global deforestation accounts for between 12% (van de Werf et al., 2009) to 20% (Metz et al., 2007) of all CO2 emissions, standing tropical forests absorb about 18% of CO2 substantially buffering the rate of climate change (Lewis et al., 2009).

  • How can REDD support ape conservation?

  • How is REDD implemented/applied in practice?

  • Are there also negative aspects of REDD/REDD+?

Compiled and edited 2011 by Kay H. Farmer
Reviewed by Hjalmar Kuehl, Josephine Head and Neba Funwi-Gabga

  • References