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Research Report

Moving Ahead with REDD: Issues, Options and Implications

Edited by Arild Angelsen
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2008
Pages: 172
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-10)
    Arild Angelsen and Stibniati Atmadja

    Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD) has moved to centre stage in the international climate debate over the past three years. It is commonly seen as a significant, cheap, quick and win-win way to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; significant because one-fifth of global GHG emissions come from deforestation and forest degradation (DD); cheap because much of the DD is only marginally profitable, so, reducing GHG emissions from forests would be cheaper than most other mitigation measures; quick because large reductions in GHG emissions can be achieved with ‘stroke of the pen’ reforms and other...

  2. (pp. 11-22)
    Arild Angelsen and Sheila Wertz-Kanounnikoff

    Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in developing countries, or REDD for short, is among the recent additions to the climate vocabulary. Taken literally, REDD is an objective rather than a clearly delimited set of actions or activities. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) documents refer to REDD as a broad set of approaches and actions that will reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.¹

    In discussions, however, REDD primarily refers to: (i) developing mechanisms to make payments to developing countries for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (compared with a reference level); and (ii) readiness...

  3. (pp. 23-30)
    Ruben N. Lubowski

    Scientific evidence indicates that avoiding dangerous interference with the climate system — e.g. warming greater than 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century — requires rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from developed and major-emitting developing countries. Reducing emissions from tropical forests offers an immediate opportunity to mitigate a significant emissions source at relatively low estimated costs. Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) efforts could also offer an attractive ‘bridge strategy’ of reducing near-term emissions while buying time to adapt to a low carbon future.

    This chapter looks at some important questions for...

  4. (pp. 31-40)
    Arild Angelsen, Charlotte Streck, Leo Peskett, Jessica Brown and Cecilia Luttrell

    Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) is a proposed financial mechanism which would provide developing countries with incentives to reduce forest sector emissions. REDD could become part of the international climate agreement currently being discussed within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). A key question in the debate concerns the geographical level (spatial scale) for accounting and provision of incentives for REDD activities should be offered. Should REDD accounting be at: (i) subnational (or project) level; (ii) national level, or (iii) both levels (nested approach)? This chapter first describes the three approaches to REDD and...

  5. (pp. 41-52)
    Michael Dutschke, Sheila Wertz-Kanounnikoff, Leo Peskett, Cecilia Luttrell, Charlotte Streck and Jessica Brown

    Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) is potentially a low-cost option for mitigating climate change, if acted upon today (Stern 2006). If forest carbon credits are included in global emissions trading, the estimated cost of halving net global carbon dioxide emissions from forests by 2030 is USD 17-33 billion annually (Eliasch 2008). The Thirteenth Conference of the Parties (COP 13) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2007 laid the foundations for including REDD in developing countries in the post-2012 climate protection regime. Developed countries are encouraged to help find ways of financing these...

  6. (pp. 53-64)
    Arild Angelsen

    Among the most critical elements of a new global ‘reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation’ (REDD) regime is how to set national baselines or reference lines/levels.¹ Reference levels have profound implications for the environmental effectiveness, cost efficiency, and distribution of REDD funds among countries. Yet, there is no agreed-upon ‘formula’ for how to set them. Most REDD submissions to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) suggest using historical deforestation, but many countries do not have reliable data on that. Similarly, there is strong support for including ‘national circumstances’, but the practical implications of that are yet...

  7. (pp. 65-76)
    Sven Wunder

    Imagine you live on a mountain lakeside. Recently, glacier melting from global warming has repeatedly caused severe flooding of your lands. You therefore decide to build a dike to protect the lowest-lying, most flood-prone lands. But since the lake is small, doing so will further raise the lake’s water level and lead to flooding of previously unaffected areas. If your overall objective was to protect lakeside land from flooding, the projected gains from the dike project need ‘leakage’ deduction, i.e. quantification of losses from shifting some flooding pressures elsewhere in space.

    In principle, carbon leakage is a similar off-site effect....

  8. (pp. 77-86)
    Michael Dutschke and Arild Angelsen

    One of the major concerns in the reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) debate is the permanence of emissions reductions. How can we make sure that a forest area saved today will not be destroyed tomorrow? Who should be held liable if that happened? How can REDD contracts and financial mechanisms be designed to ensure permanence?

    Compared with other climate change mitigation options, forestry is often considered special in two ways. First, it is more difficult to control the carbon storage. Even under the best management practices, an unexpected carbon release cannot be excluded. Droughts, pest, or fire...

  9. (pp. 87-98)
    Sheila Wertz-Kanounnikoff, Louis V. Verchot, Markku Kanninen and Daniel Murdiyarso

    In 2001, at the seventh Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Marrakech, policy makers decided to exclude carbon offsets from most land use, landuse change and forestry (LULUCF) carbon sinks in developing countries for a number of reasons, including the difficulties in measuring, reporting and verifying (MRV) the actual reductions. Since then, considerable progress has been made in technology development and assessment protocols to allay many of the methodological concerns expressed during the negotiations. There have been two revisions to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Greenhouse Gas Accounting...

  10. (pp. 99-106)
    Daniel Murdiyarso, Margaret Skutsch, Manuel Guariguata, Markku Kanninen, Cecilia Luttrell, Pita Verweij and Osvaldo Stella Martins

    Forest degradation is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). In the Brazilian Amazon forest, degradation is responsible for 20% of total emissions (Asner et al. 2005). In Indonesia, the forest stock is decreasing by 6% a year and forest degradation is responsible for two thirds of this, whereas deforestation is responsible for only a third (Marklund and Schoene 2006). In Africa the annual rate of forest degradation is almost 50% of the annual rate of deforestation (Lambin et al. 2003).

    In 2007, the Thirteenth Conference of the Parties (COP 13) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate...

  11. (pp. 107-118)
    David Brown, Frances Seymour and Leo Peskett

    Global climate change negotiations concern more than just the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Article Two of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFFCC) states that the ultimate objective of the convention is to stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations while also ensuring food production is not threatened and economic development proceeds in a sustainable manner. The Thirteenth Session of the Conference of Parties in Bali in December 2007 (Decision 2/CP.13) recognised that reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) ‘can promote co-benefits and may complement the aims and objectives of other relevant international conventions and agreements’ and that...