Deforestation and the degradation of forests are responsible for just under one-fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than all the world’s cars, trucks, ships and planes combined. In addition to storing over one trillion tons of the world’s carbon, forests provide for human needs: they purify water, protect soils, prevent floods and droughts and are home to the majority of the world’s land based species - and they do it essentially for free.
Under the Kyoto Protocol, developing countries cannot receive credit for the benefits their forests provide to people and environment around the world and as major storehouses for carbon. As long as there are no rewards for maintaining forests for the local and global benefits that they provide, they will continue to be cut, burnt and degraded.
There is a need to change the perverse incentives that make forests worth more dead than alive. Clearly, rewards to reduce deforestation have to be part of the solution since this will allow forests to store vast amounts of carbon, provide the ecosystem services we all need and secure the livelihoods of some of the most vulnerable people in the world. Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) can make this possible.
REDD is a proposed mechanism to give a financial value to standing forests by mobilizing capital to compensate developing countries for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and therefore help prevent dangerous climate change.
REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation):
The United Nations Secretary-General’s High Level Event,
to be held on the occasion of the 64th United Nations General Assembly
23 September 2009, 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
ECOSOC Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, New York, and broadcast live on http://www.un.org/webcast
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; Australia’s Prime Minister Kevin Rudd; Bolivia President Evo
Morales ; Denmark Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen; Guyana President Bharrat Jagdeo;
Norway Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg; Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare; Republic of Congo President Denis Sassou-Nguesso; and United Kingdom Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
A closing press conference is scheduled for 6:00pm in Room S-226 at United Nations Headquarters. Attendance at the press conference will require UN media accreditation. For details see http://www.un.org/media/accreditation/events.htm.
O pportunities for one-on-one interviews with experts and policy makers on REDD will be available in the days prior to and immediately following the event.
Interested media should contact Jim Sniffen/Stanislav Sauling/Kasia Reterska by Friday, 18 September 2009.