International Forest Carbon Initiative
Why we need the International Forest Carbon Initiative
Deforestation of around 13 million hectares per year accounts for approximately 18 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. This is more than the emissions from the entire global transport sector. As such, reducing emissions from forests, and making the most of their ability to absorb and store carbon, could make a significant contribution to global efforts to mitigate climate change.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) does not currently include a way to address emissions from deforestation in developing countries, many of which are rich in forest resources. However, at the Bali Conference of the Parties in 2007, reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, or REDD+, was formally included in the negotiations for a future climate change outcome.
Australia is working in the UNFCCC to secure a REDD+ outcome that makes forests part of the climate change solution and no longer part of the problem. Key to this is agreeing a financial mechanism that provides developing countries, and their forest-dependent Indigenous and local communities, with a real incentive to conserve their forests and meet their economic and development aspirations.
Developed countries like Australia have a crucial role to play in helping developing countries build the necessary capacity to participate in international REDD+ efforts. That is why Australia is taking practical action through our International Forest Carbon Initiative.
How the International Forest Carbon Initiative works
Australia's $273 million International Forest Carbon Initiative is a key contribution to global action on REDD+. The Initiative is jointly administered by the Australian Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and AusAID.
Through the initiative, we are working to help developing countries build capacity to participate in a future of REDD+ mechanism and provide momentum to support inclusion of REDD+ in a future global climate change agreement. The initiative enables Australia to work closely developing countries to find practical ways to reduce forest emissions. This includes collaborative Forest Carbon Partnerships with Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. These partnerships demonstrate how the technical and policy hurdles to REDD+ might be addressed. Lessons learned from the partnerships also support international efforts under the UNFCCC to design a REDD+ financial mechanism.
What Australia is doing through the International Forest Carbon Initiative
Through the International Forest Carbon Initiative, Australia is supporting global efforts to establish a REDD+ mechanism by:
- building the capacity and "REDD+ readiness" of developing countries to enable participation in a future REDD+ mechanism;
- helping to shape a robust global REDD+ architecture, including credible systems for measurement, reporting and verification (MRV); and
- demonstrating REDD+ payment mechanisms, and promoting sustainable market-based approaches to REDD+ that can provide fair and effective benefits for communities.
Australia is assisting developing countries to strengthen their human and institutional capacity, as well as their capacity to develop and implement effective policies and planning for reducing emissions from their forest sector. This strengthen capacity will assist developing countries to gain access to international financial incentives available for REDD+ actions. This includes:
- trialing a range of approaches, particularly in Indonesia, to demonstrate how investment in REDD can achieve emission reductions, while promoting livelihood options for forest-dependent Indigenous and local communities; and
- assisting these countries to develop the underpinnings for regulatory, governance and law enforcement frameworks for REDD and to conserve and manage their forests sustainably.
Increasing international forest carbon monitoring and accounting capacity.
By demonstrating that forests can be monitored effectively through satellite data and on-ground forest measurements, Australia will show that there can be certainty in measuring emission reductions from REDD+. Activities include:
- directly assisting developing countries, to develop their own national forest carbon measurement systems; and
- partnering with the Clinton Climate Initiative to assist developing countries to develop effective and efficient forest carbon measurement systems.
Supporting international efforts to develop market-based approaches to REDD+.
Australia is playing a key role in international climate change forums and in working with other countries to promote the development of market-based approaches to REDD+, including by:
For more information on what Australia is doing through the Initiative see Action under the International Forest Carbon Initiative.