Saving Pacific forests will be part of Paris climate talks
Discussions have been held in Suva on what progress is being made in schemes in the Pacific to save forests and help protect the climate.
Agencies working in the Pacific and experts from around the region met in Suva this/last week to conduct a review of efforts to protect the climate by conserving forests while protecting livelihoods.
Four years ago to combat logging and compensate landowners, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Fiji embraced a scheme called 'Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in developing countries' or REDD.
A subsequent development REDD+ encourages the sustainable management of forests and enhancing forest carbon through forest conservation.
Don Wiseman spoke with Karl Peter Kirsch-Jung of the German foreign aid agency GIZ, about progress that has been made with the schemes.
KARL PETER KIRSCH-JUNG: They have developed national strategies about what they should do to get compensation payments whenever international negotiations come to a good end, and the forest sector is included in a climate agreement so that monies will flow to compensate these countries for reducing emissions from deforestation, forest degradation and if we look at the plus of REDD, also for enhancing carbon stocks through sustainable forest management or through reforestation.
DON WISEMAN: Have they been receiving that money? And where does it actually come from?
KPKJ: So far, they have not received result-based payments for having reduced emissions. They have received money for getting ready to do so, to establish the basic conditions like emission reference level monitoring systems so that result-based payments can be made. They have so far received this readiness money from different sources, if you look at PNG, the forest area is important so PNG has a lot of donors including the EU, Japan, the UN REDD collaborative effort between FAO and UNDP, and this is where I come in from the German Agency for International Cooperation, GIZ, with funding from the German Federal Ministry for the Environment through a special climate fund which takes care of the obligations and commitment the German government made during international climate negotiations.
DW: Essentially there's a big pot of money there available for this now?
KPKJ: There has been money available to develop this readiness strategy, and now the three countries have qualified with these readiness strategies to additional funds to implement these readiness strategies really to get really ready. This money comes again from a special fund, the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, which is a trust fund which is managed by World Bank or by UNDP so Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Fiji are about to receive US$3.6 million each for the next three years to work on their readiness, and PNG has as well other donors, the UN REDD collaborative programme and the EU and again the German government will continue to support these countries their effort lastly to benefit from this international compensation mechanism which is still under negotiation where we hope that REDD + will be incorporated in Paris.
DW: When you go to Paris at the end of this year, everyone's looking for the REDD + to be endorsed there?
KPKJ: REDD + is one part of this whole package of climate negotiations but so far there are many open questions, so we do not know how far REDD + will be included in Paris and what will be the consequences. Anyway, there is a parallel development. The Green Climate Fund, which becomes now operational, which has received pledges at least for $US10 billion, and this will even have something like a window for the forestry sector or for REDD + if you like, so I guess even if the negotiations in Paris might not be so successful, I guess there is money available if countries really make an effort to protect or sustainably manage forests.
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