Forests in the spotlights: From TED Talks to REDD+ Talks

REDD Talks London

Two weeks ago, TED Global came to Rio de Janeiro. Four days in a row, speakers tried to enchant the audience with their stories on a variety of topics. Ranging from the future of the indigenous people in Brazil to the development of an encrypted email program for secure communication; Journalists, activists, scientists and artists all tried to squeeze the maximum out of their 3 till 18 minutes of fame. Some speakers were entertaining, some inspiring, but they all had a message and reason to be there on stage.

Tomorrow a spin-off of the TED talks will happen in London: the REDD+ Talks. This event will catch the eye of only a specific crowd because it’s not as generic as the TED Talks. All talks will focus on REDD+: Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation + Conservation and Sustainable Development. This international mechanism initiated by the United Nations aims to increase the value of standing forest and provide forest communities and developing countries with a new, sustainable pathway to economic growth. Recognizing the economic value of ecosystem services that standing forests provide will not only result in greenhouse gas emission reduction, but will also contribute to forest conservation, biodiversity preservation and sustainable economic development of forest communities (1). The REDD+ mechanism works on many levels: local projects focus on forest communities, while national and subnational programs and policies are being developed. Brazil is one of the frontrunner countries in the development of the REDD+ mechanism and policies (2). It received over $ 266,000,000 REDD+ financing between 2009 and 2012(3). Despite these investments, there are many challenges to overcome and questions yet to be answered, for example: What should be the benefit sharing structure? How can we secure social safeguards, and how can they be measured, reported and verified? How can constant funding for REDD+ be ensured?

The event in London will be emphasising the value of REDD+ within corporate sustainability initiatives, public-private partnerships and sustainable economic development. It has quite an impressive line-up of speakers, bringing together leading REDD+ practitioners, policy makers, and private sector actors. I’d have loved to attend the event, I think writing this blog is my way to make up for my absence and to be involved and spread the word. Click here to be linked to the REDD+ Talks website.

Click to view source: (1) ; (2) ; (3)

I’d love to hear your opinion about this topic! What do you think are the most pressing questions concerning the REDD+ mechanism that should be addressed?


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