Strengthening the REDD Text

Briefing paper

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Date produced: 27/03/2010

The text for the proposed REDD-plus mechanism under the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has recently developed as follows:

  • 15 December 2009 – draft REDD text as at the end of COP 15;
  • 11 February 2010 – draft REDD text as amended by the AWG-LCA;
  • 17 May 2010 – Advance Version of the REDD text for Bonn II (“Advance Version”).

This briefing note identifies policy areas which are unresolved and suggests language to strengthen the Advance Version text. The policy issues are:

  • whether developing country Parties should be permitted the option of adopting a subnational approach to REDD;
  • whether the REDD activities of developing country Parties should be subject to international monitoring, reporting and verification;
  • whether the social and environmental safeguards in paragraph 2 should be subject to international monitoring, reporting and verification;
  • whether to allow market-based approaches to REDD (i.e. trading); and
  • how activities under the REDD-plus mechanism will relate to REDD activities under NAMAs.

The Advance Version text also has four major omissions, listed below. For each of the omissions, this briefing note suggests possible language that would improve substantive aspects of the issues as well as the legal strength of the text regarding these issues. The omissions are:

  • no quantitative goal for the amount of emission reductions expected from the REDD-plus mechanism;
  • no reference to the need for fair and equitable benefit-sharing;
  • no provision for the conservation and protection of peat soils; and
  • no institutional arrangements.

Although there are many areas of the Advance Version text which could be strengthened and improved, (for example, the text fails to expressly recognise the right of indigenous peoples to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC)), this note recognises that the negotiations relating to these issues have largely already been resolved one way or another, and that it is unrealistic that such issues will be revisited at this late stage. This briefing note therefore focuses on those issues which appear, from the Advanced Version of the text, to remain “live”